By Catholic Charities of Buffalo
Catholic Charities of Buffalo is here to help as always, and the human service organization that serves the eight counties of Western New York is continuing to help those most in need with the most essential services, especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are some ways we are helping our neighbors:
Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services – Our Erie and Niagara County Monsignor Carr Institute Clinics continue to provide mental health counseling to current and new clients, as always, while incorporating some teletherapy. Our substance abuse services in Erie County also are available. Our intake department staff are ready to help new clients access our services at 716-895-1033. Please reach out for help if needed.
Basic Emergency Assistance
Food Pantries – Our nine food pantries in Allegany, Cattaraugus and Erie counties are open. At most pantries, the bags of food will be placed at the door for clients to pick up. At Town Square in Getzville, drivers are asked to pull up and open their trunks for staff to place the bags in trunks. For everyone’s mutual health and safety, no clients will enter the food pantry.
For our food pantry locations, days and hours, visit ccwny.org/food.
Basic Assistance Sites – Our basic emergency assistance locations in the eight counties remain open, including at 525 Washington St., Buffalo. Clients may call ahead to make an appointment if possible. Find locations at cwny.org/emergency_assistance.
“It is critical that Catholic Charities – always known as a place to turn when there seems no hope – remains front and center helping some of our most vulnerable neighbors the way we always have,” said Deacon Steve Schumer, Catholic Charities president and CEO. “In addition to counseling, substance abuse and basic assistance services, as many of our direct caregivers as possible are checking in on their clients by phone to ensure their well-being and safety.”
Catholic Charities is committed to keeping its clients, volunteers and employees safe, following the recommendations from the CDC, state and local authorities. Although Catholic Charities falls under the guidelines for an essential business per Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s most recent executive order regarding 100% workforce reduction, as many agency employees as possible are and will be working from home. All health and safety protocols, including increased sanitizing measures at all sites, also are being maintained.
Other updates and changes to our programs and services:
•ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE: Montante Administrative Center, 741 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, is closed to visitors.
•A GATHERING PLACE (senior adult day program in Buffalo): Closed.
•APPEAL 2020: Parishes are asked to mail donations to our office, 741 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, NY 14209, Attn.: Appeal Department. Our staff is working remotely and returning office calls daily. Donations can also be made online at ccwny.org/donation. For any questions or concerns, call Clara Moran, director of Appeal advancement, at 716-713-4410.
•FOSTER GRANDPARENT PROGRAM: Canceled through April 17.
•IMMIGRATION AND REFUGEE ASSISTANCE: Clients will be seen by appointment only. There are no walk-in hours. To schedule an appointment, please call 716-842-0270 during business hours, weekdays 8:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
•NUTRITION~SIMPLY SAID CLASSES: Canceled.
•THRIFT STORES: Lots of Clothes Thrift Store (1122 Broadway, Buffalo) and Wellsville Outreach Thrift Store (67 E. Pearl St., Wellsville) are closed. While closed to the public, our Lots of Clothes Thrift Store staff is processing clothing and Fresh Start package referrals placed by Catholic Charities’ staff members, and taking donations at the door.
•WIC (Erie, Niagara and Chautauqua Counties): Services are provided remotely by telephone. Offices are closed to the public, but service continues. If you have an appointment, a nutritionist will call you to conduct your appointment by phone. If you are newly unemployed because of the pandemic, you may be eligible for WIC. For questions, please call 218-1484.
•WORKFORCE and EDUCATION SERVICES: Sites are closed. Classes are available online via email or through distance learning (DL). Hard-copy packets for accessing the DL system have been mailed or were delivered to current students. Students who did not receive packets can access the information by visiting ccwny.org/TASC. To enroll in online or DL programming, go to ccwny.org/TASC.