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Oneida and Madison County Catholic Charities assistance programs.

Individuals who need help can look into Catholic Charity assistance programs in Madison. Rome, Utica and Oneida County New York. The main resource they offer low income people (regardless of religion) is the Community Assistance program, however a variety of services are administered.

The Clothing Closet provides work and school attire, winter coats, back to school items, shoes, and more to local families in the Rome New York area. Clothing is offered at no cost, and funding comes from the United Way and donations. To learn more, use the closet, or to donate dial (315) 337-8600. Donations and contributions of gently used items are always needed and appreciated.

The Catholic Charity Community Assistance Program is wide ranging in what it can offer lower income, unemployed, and struggling families. All resources are limited, conditions need to be met by applicants, and the aid is short term. Many applicants will also be required to sign up for case management as well. Some examples of services offered include the following.

  • Food, including vouchers, information on SNAP, and holiday meals (Thanksgiving and Christmas).
  • Non material goods such as bus tokens, clothing, household items, and personal hygiene items.
  • Financial assistance, including money for paying utilities or rent on a very limited basis. This is very limited.
  • Christmas assistance, including programs such as Operation Sunshine and Stuff the Bus.

Many of those financial assistance programs are funded by non-profits in the Utica and Rome region, including the United Way, Operation Sunshine, Hope Appeal and donations from the community. If the Catholic Charities center can’t help you, they are a great place to call for referrals to other providers, non-profits, or local churches. Receive linkages to Social Services Departments and public aid in New York, as there are a number of other resources around the Madison and Oneida County region. Call at (315) 724-2158 for details.





A food pantry is located in Rome NY. It will offer free food and groceries to individuals and families who are unable to access the greater regional Food Bank, and this is offered in partnership with Rice Bowl, NYS HIP-NAP funds and contributions from the community. Catholic Charities always welcomes donations of canned, boxed or frozen foods. The pantry is open limited hours and days of the week. The contact for this program can be reached at (315) 724-2158.

A similar resource is the Summer Breakfast Program, and this is available for students and youth who are out of school. Resources can help insure that low income, senior citizens and working poor families are able to properly feed their children during the summer months while they are out of school and do not have access to free government lunch or breakfast programs.

Meals can be provided at different locations, including parks or community centers. As with any program, volunteers and donations are needed.

Counseling services are a specialty of the non-profit organization as well. Some of the issues addressed may include, but are not limited to, credit counseling, depression, anger management, anxiety, stress, parenting, self-esteem, and grief. While the services are meant to be affordable, a payment is still due from participants. Payment options established by Catholic Charities include insurance billing and private pay based on a sliding or variable rate fee scale. Major insurance is accepted when available for some services.

The main location is at 248 Main Street, Oneida, New York 13421. Call Catholic Charities at (315) 363-5274.



By Jon McNamara











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