Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Palm Beach, Inc. is pleased to announce a December 2023 grant award from the Cathleen McFarlane Foundation in the amount of $52,000 to support homeless prevention through our Hunger, Homeless, Outreach Program.
Grant funds from the Cathleen McFarlane Foundation addresses the need for support services for the increasing number of clients we encounter who, because of economic conditions and rapidly rising housing prices in our area, will likely become homeless without support. Catholic Charities Hunger, Homeless and Outreach program focuses on providing the array of support services these families need to regain housing security, meet their basic needs for food and clothing, ensure that they remain employed and get the help they need to navigate the temporary crises that have arisen in their lives. The program provides emergency services that prevent homelessness and assist individuals and families to attain economic stability and self-sufficiency through the provision of support services, training, and appropriate referrals. Not only have rents risen exponentially, but the number of available apartments has diminished as people hold on to their housing because it is so difficult and expensive to move. In addition, double-digit inflation has reduced the amount of money families have for groceries and utilities, and salaries have not increased nearly enough to keep up with these increases, especially for lower skilled wage earners.
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Palm Beach began in 1984 as the social service arm of the Palm Beach Diocese. The agency serves 7,000 to 10,000 clients each year throughout the Palm Beach Diocese which includes Palm Beach, St. Lucie, Indian River, Martin, and Okeechobee Counties. Catholic Charities currently provides services through 13 programs and ministries targeting the poor and vulnerable such as the homeless, people at risk of homelessness, survivors of human trafficking, immigrants, refugees, people suffering mental health issues, and families with crisis pregnancies.
The mission of the Cathleen McFarlane Foundation is to provide philanthropic support to qualified, non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations that focus on assisting individuals suffering from homelessness or substance abuse, and animal welfare in the South Florida community. Cathleen McFarlane Ross established the Foundation in 1997. From its establishment in 1997 to her death in 2010, she made significant annual donations to the Foundation. She supported many charities during her lifetime but focused primarily on homeless people, homeless animals and people afflicted with substance abuse and addiction problems.