Charities aided by One Louisville fund

Tony Brodfehrer, an employee of Catholic Charities of Louisville, handed a sack lunch to a man, while maintaining a safe distance, in front of the Sister Visitor Center on West Market Street April 1. The lunches are a partnership with Dare to Care and will be distributed through April. Record Photo by Ruby Thomas

The threat of the spread of COVID-19 has caused Catholic Charities of Louisville to make some changes in how it serves clients, but it is still committed to helping the needy in the Archdiocese of Louisville.

The agency will have some help, too, through a $50,000 grant from the city’s One Louisville: COVID-19 Response Fund. Mayor Greg Fischer announced March 30 that 17 agencies, including Catholic Charities, will receive the fund’s first round of grants.

Since the COVID-19 Response Fund was launched March 16, it has swelled to $7.4 million, according to a press release from the mayor’s office. Funding has been provided by individuals, corporations and foundations across the community.

“The initial group of nonprofits getting help from the One Louisville Fund are all experienced, ‘boots on the ground’ direct-service providers,” said Ann Coffey, CEO of the Center for Nonprofit Excellence.

“Some are wondering how long they can keep their doors open without significant help. The dollars from this fund are being put to immediate use to help our community — today.”

Lisa DeJaco Crutcher, Catholic Charities’ chief executive officer, said, “We are so appreciative of it and thankful that the city recognizes our broad scope and reach.

“We’re going to draw a little of this for our internal support, but our primary support will be providing assistance to individuals who have been affected.”

In addition to the local grant, the agency also received a $10,000 emergency grant from Catholic Charities USA.

About $48,000 of the grant funding will be used for direct aid to people in financial distress because of the pandemic and who don’t qualify for other aid, such as unemployment. Another portion of the funding may be used to expand food distribution at Sister Visitor Center, she said.

During this time, all are “called to new creativity” in how they interact with and serve the needy.

To that end, the agency has made some changes to its programs to prioritize the safety of its staff members as well as that of those who seek its services.

Sister Visitor Center
The center distributed 100 sack lunches to people in the West End on April 1 and will keep doing so through the month of April. The lunches will be handed out Monday through Thursday. The lunches are sponsored by the Brown-Forman Corporation.

The center is also providing financial assistance over the phone. It is operating its food pantry, but clients are asked to wait at the door for bagged groceries. Food is being delivered to elderly clients at home. The clothes closet is closed to clients and is not accepting clothing donations.

The center is accepting financial donations and donations of household and hygiene items like soap, paper towels, toilet paper, and diapers.

Language Services
This service is fully operational. Over the phone and video interpreting services as well as in-person, following social distancing guidelines, are available.

Family Support Services
This office has canceled in-person classes for pregnant women and is developing online classes. Client assistance, including the Lifeline Fund, is available by phone.

The Bologna Alley lunch program is still serving sack lunches outside The Cathedral seven days a week and offering services to help individuals get an identification card.

Common Table
Common Table has canceled its culinary classes but is still communicating with graduates of the program about employers that are hiring.

Long Term Care Ombudsman
Volunteers are doing “virtual visitation” and communicating with the family members of nursing home residents about their concerns.

Bakhita Empowerment Initiative
The emergency line will continue to be staffed and case managers are still communicating with program participants, survivors of human trafficking.

Immigration Legal Services
This office is scheduling and conducting appointments by telephone.

Ellen Hauber, director of development for Catholic Charities, said the agency is doing its best to care for the needy.

“The staff is working hard, some from home and a few sprinkled in the offices, to make sure each person who reaches out gets their need addressed in some way,” said Hauber. “We’re there for people, all the services we can provide we will provide. We’re doing our best to catch up.”

Hauber said financial donations are crucial. “It’s all going to good use. We’re feeding families and elderly shut-ins,” she said. To support Catholic Charities, visit

Ruby Thomas
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Ruby Thomas
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