April 3, 2021 | Local News

Catholic Charities continues to press on, engage the community, provide assistance


Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Owensboro has as an agency been able to devote $308,600 in services to people hurting across western Kentucky.

Much of that help has been possible because of generous parishioners and grants. And while funds are currently running low for unrestricted grant funding for housing and utility assistance, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Owensboro recently received a $10,000 CCUSA Francis Fund for Eviction Prevention grant to help renters avoid eviction in local rural counties (including the entire diocese except for Daviess and Warren Counties, due to the population being over 100,000). Rural residents at risk for eviction can call (270) 852-8335 to see if Catholic Charities can assist. 

LIHEAP (Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program) is available for utility assistance (the first stop for any utility help) in various agencies across the diocese (www.Audubon-Area.com for  Daviess, Hancock, Henderson, McLean, Ohio, Union and Webster Counties;  www.CKCAC.org for Breckenridge and Grayson Counties; www.CasoKy.org for Allen, Butler, Edmonson, Logan, Simpson, and Warren Counties; www.PACS-Ky.org for Caldwell, Christian, Crittenden, Hopkins, Livingston, Lyon, Muhlenberg, Todd and Trigg Counties; and www.wkas-ky.org for Ballard, Calloway, Carlisle, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Marshall and McCracken Counties).  For rental assistance, Governor Andy Beshear’s office has set up a program to pay up to nine months of back rent and three months of future rent for those under 80% of median income who have experienced income loss during the pandemic. To apply for that assistance people can go to https://teamkyhherf.ky.gov/.

Several big things have occurred in immigration:

  1. DACA update: USCIS will now process new DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) applications – children who arrived on or before June 15, 2007 before their 16th birthday are eligible to apply but they have to be 15 years old or older to apply. These applicants had been barred from making an application for the last four years, so all youth who turned 15 since around 2016 hadn’t been able to apply and now they can, and should, apply.  
  2. TPS update: Venezuelans have been added to Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and they have between March 9 and Sept. 5 to enroll by application. Persons enrolled in TPS are given work permits and social security cards. For those who already have green cards or who are citizens, TPS is not needed, but it can be helpful for people whose temporary status is expiring, those out-of-status, or the like.

Catholic Charities can assist with both DACA and TPS applications: please call (270) 852-8328.

Thank you all for your assistance and donations to Catholic Charities. If you see someone who needs help, please don’t hesitate to refer them to us. Even if we cannot financially assist them with their need, we can likely accompany them in finding a solution. Learn more by visiting https://owensborodiocese.org/catholic-charities or by contacting director Susan Montalvo-Gesser at (270) 852-8328 or [email protected].

Originally printed in the April 2021 issue of The Western Kentucky Catholic.


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Publisher |  Bishop William F. Medley
Editor |  Elizabeth Wong Barnstead
Contributors |  Riley Greif, Rachel Hall
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