Catholic Charities USA has named “Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Denver” as recipient of a $1.8 million grant, in support of their extensive and ongoing relief and recovery efforts surrounding Colorado’s recent flood disaster.
September’s week-long series of massive storms devastated significant portions of northern Colorado, with flooding and mudslides damaging or destroying nearly 20,000 homes. In total, 24 counties in Colorado – over 4,500 square miles – were negatively affected, with Boulder, Larimer and Weld counties experiencing the greatest damage.
Denver Catholic Charities’ President and CEO Larry Smith expressed his sincere gratitude upon announcement of the award.
“Without Catholic Charities USA, our efforts to help those in need would have been greatly limited. We are grateful for the opportunity to expand our program capabilities, in an ongoing effort to assist victims in regaining and sustaining their physical, social, economic and spiritual well-being.”
Nevertheless, Smith notes that the need is still great, not only for additional donations to support long-term flood relief but the rest of Charities’ ministries as well.
"While this $1.8 million grant is great news, Catholic Charities still faces a shortfall,” said Smith. “We're seeking to raise an additional $1 million by the end of this year to securely fund all our ongoing ministries, many of which directly support our efforts towards long-term flood recovery."
“True recovery – whether from natural disaster or personal crisis – can take years,” Smith concluded. “But with the invaluable support of our community’s time, talent and treasure, we trust that we can help all those in need, every step of the way.”
Thanks to nearly $700,000 in donor support thus far, Denver Catholic Charities has acted as one of Colorado’s primary early responders to the disaster, assisting approximately 1,300 households in Boulder, Larimer, Weld and other affected counties with financial assistance, distribution of donated goods and relocation to nearby temporary housing. All of these services have occurred in addition to and in coordination with Charities’ broader spectrum of ongoing ministries in Family and Childcare Services, Women's Services and Shelter Services.
Charities’ 3-year, long-term recovery program will build on earlier efforts to provide financial assistance in the form of rent and deposits, utilities, fuel and household furnishings. Case management and counseling will assist victims in locating affordable housing, replacing or filing legal documentation, and employment services. Counseling will also address any expressed emotional, psychological and/or spiritual trauma surrounding the disaster. All of this work will continue in collaboration with Charities’ local partners, including local Red Cross and United Way chapters and various federal, state, and county offices.
As the charitable arm of the Archdiocese of Denver, and inspired by God’s love and compassion, Catholic Charities extends the healing ministry of Jesus Christ to the poor and those in need. We serve people of all faiths, or no faith, with equal dignity, respect and compassion in imitation of Jesus Christ. For more information, visit www.ccdenver.org.