Catholic Charities more than halfway to fundraising goal

An architect’s rendering shows the planned headquarters of Catholic Charities of Louisville. The 31,000-square-foot facility will be built on the corner of Fourth and Heywood streets, where the former Holy Name Church gym stands.

Catholic Charities of Louisville has reached 61 percent of its fundraising goal to build new headquarters in the 2900 block of South Fourth Street behind Holy Name Church.

The project is expected to cost about $7.5 million and thus far donors have given $4.55 million.

“We are so impressed by the generosity of those who have donated to the campaign so far,” said Lisa DeJaco Crutcher, chief executive of the agency. “Many did not have a prior history of giving directly to Catholic Charities, though often they were great supporters of the Catholic Services Appeal, which of course is an important source of our funding.”

The fundraising campaign “has been a great chance for us to connect with folks directly to share more about our work,” she noted. “It’s been really inspiring to see how generously people have responded after learning more about this essential work of our church — to see the care and compassion of our Catholic community stepping forward once again.”

Catholic Charities operates nine programs that serve the most vulnerable people in the community, including victims of human trafficking, expectant and new mothers and their children, refugees, immigrants and the poor.

Its offices are currently housed at two locations — the former convent for Holy Name Church at 2911 South Fourth St., which is slated to be razed for the project, and the former St. Anthony Church campus on West Market Street.

Most of the agency’s 85 employees are expected to relocate to the new 31,000-square-foot headquarters. Sister Visitor Center, which serves needy families in Portland, Shawnee and Russell neighborhoods, will remain at its current location at 2235 W. Market St. across from St. Anthony.

DeJaco Crutcher said consolidating its ministries in a new building comes down to a responsible use of resources. Its current locations are ill-suited for the work and need hundreds of thousands of dollars in improvements to maintain the status quo.

“As a church, we’re called to make use of our resources for the wellbeing of the people in our community, spiritual and otherwise,” DeJaco Crutcher said. “We’re going to be able to do a lot more good for a lot more people.”

About $2.8 million in contributions to the project have come from the parishes of the Archdiocese of Louisville and the archdiocese itself. The remainder was contributed by individual donors. The largest individual donor gift thus far is $500,000.

DeJaco Crutcher said she recently began reaching out to foundations and corporate sponsors locally and nationally.

Catholic Charities’ building plan has been approved by the Louisville Metro Planning and Zoning department’s development committee. The plan calls for the former convent, the former Holy Name School and the former school gym to be demolished.

After the plan was filed with the city, an effort to designate the convent and school buildings as landmarks began. A public hearing on the issue is scheduled for Aug. 29.

DeJaco Crutcher said that if a landmark designation prevents building on the site, the agency will find an alternate location for its headquarters.

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