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Catholic Campaign for Human Development Awards Grants

Director, Office of Life, Justice and Peace Marcus Cabrera (standing second from left) joins honorees who received grants from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.

The Diocese of San José celebrated six non-profit organizations in Santa Clara County who received grants from Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) this year. Each organization addresses one or more of the root causes of poverty.

Once a year, our Diocese has a collection to support the efforts of local groups who are working to empower the poor and the marginalized to break the cycle of poverty. The CCHD offers a hand up, not a hand out. In addition to utilizing all the funds from this collection, the Diocese is grateful to receive $30,000 to support local non-profits furthering the mission of the Catholic Church. The total amount of money the diocese collected for CCHD was $134,700. Of that total, 25% or $32,945 is returned to the Diocese to assist local organizations working with low income communities.

Among recipients this year is the Day Worker Center of Mountain View.

While providing job training and opportunities, English language and technology classes, the center also trains members for leadership in the community by speaking out on issues such as rent increases, tenant rights, and the need for safe spaces for those living in motorhomes and cars.

Service, Immigrant Rights & Education (SIREN) works extensively with young immigrants developing leaders for the future. They learn their rights and how to responsibly advocate for themselves and their communities. SIREN provides free legal services to those threatened with deportation. They have registered 15,000 new voters and encouraged participation in local elections. Civic engagement workshops have been offered in several parishes

The Bay Area Organizing Committee (BAOC) also has been active in several parishes, including Saint Lucy; Saint Clare; and Saint Mary, Los Gatos. As a broad-based community organization, BAOC mentors community members to identify local problems and plan for community action to bring about change.

The grant presented to Latinos United for a New America (LUNA) will support their efforts to empower citizens in two San José neighborhoods as they address immigrants’ rights, tenants’ rights, homelessness, census education, safety, and cleanliness of their street. LUNA is in negotiations with the city to build a neighborhood park. Leadership training and civic engagement are goals for LUNA.

Teamworks & Development Institute has provided employment and ongoing training for 20 immigrant women who are the owners and workers in their housecleaning cooperative. Through grants from CCHD, these worker/owners have received leadership training and technical skills to run a successful business. Teamworks Institute provides training for Startup cooperatives nationally.

For 25 years, the Learning and Loving Educational Center has provided a loving community for immigrant women. Currently serving 161 women from 26 countries, the center is a safe place to receive English and math education, nutrition and computer skills, career and legal counseling and parenting classes. Childcare is provided, so the women are free to grow and become active in their children’s schools and the community. Currently, 20 of the women are enrolled in classes at Gavilan College while others are proudly awarded their GED.

Your contribution to the CCHD collection makes a difference in the lives of so many in the Diocese of San José!