Catholic Social Services is excited and honored to serve and be a part of the newly formed Archdiocese of Anchorage-Juneau. Since 1966, Catholic Social Services has served the Anchorage area, working to end homelessness, combat hunger insecurity, and welcome the stranger. Although our services are centered in Anchorage, I believe that we help many, far and wide, by helping one.
When our programs help one person here in Anchorage, it’s hard to tell just how many people they will help, and what good they will do. Although our agency may seem far from Juneau, I believe the differences we are making in the lives of many will impact both people and places around our state, our country, and our world.
Catholic Social Services serves those most in need by serving the vulnerable, strengthening families and individuals, and advocating for social justice. We share with our sister agency in Juneau, Catholic Community Service, a focus on serving those most in need and working to create opportunities for long term success.
We have six programs at Catholic Social Services, led and carried out by our amazing staff. Our six programs are: Brother Francis Shelter, Clare House, Homeless Family Services, St. Francis House Food Pantry, Supportive Family Services, and Refugee Assistance and Immigration Services. These six programs provide a network of services for our vulnerable neighbors. We fulfill the Catholic Church’s social teachings through our efforts to mend the holes in society’s safety net, alleviate suffering, and promote social change by meeting basic human needs and offering thoughtful opportunities for life-changing growth.
As an agency, our goal is permanent stability for our clients. We use trauma-informed care, data-driven programming, and a whole-person approach to best serve their needs. We work diligently to find our clients permeant housing and ensure that they have support and resources as they adjust to permanent housing. Thanks to many of you, we have been working even harder during the pandemic. Homeless Family Services case managers have been able to house over 300 individuals between March and July and keep almost 500 in housing, thanks to our many supporters. Our shelters for those experiencing homelessness have remained open, and Saint Francis House Food Pantry continues to serve clients through our Fast Track Food Pantry, serving 80-120 households each day they are open.
As the Chief Executive Officer of Catholic Social Services, some of my greatest successes are bringing people and agencies together and connecting people with the resources and services they need to flourish. I am looking forward to connecting more with the people of Juneau and learning about ways to work together to end homelessness and advocate for justice in Anchorage and throughout Alaska.
The writer is executive director of Catholic Social Services in Alaska. For more on CSS, call 222-7300 or visit cssalaska.org.