COVID-19 Update: New Ways to Help

Posted by | Deacon Rick Birkel

Dear Catholic Charities Family,

Blessings, peace, and good health be with all of us as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and respond to the challenges it poses within our local communities and across our beautiful state of Oregon. In these difficult times, we are especially called to respond to the needs of our most vulnerable neighbors who suffer greatly. Housing, income, and food insecurity are more perilous in times of perceived scarcity and fear.

United with our Holy Father Pope Francis, we pray in solidarity with and for our brothers and sisters who have fallen ill here and around the world as well as for those who have lost loved ones to the virus. We pray for our houseless neighbors and for those who are experiencing extraordinary hardship during these times. We pray for our health care providers and caregivers, first responders, social service providers, public health officials, and civic leaders. We pray with Pope Francis:

O Mary,
you always shine on our path
as a sign of salvation and of hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,
who at the cross took part in Jesus’ pain, keeping your faith firm.
You, Salvation of the Roman People,
know what we need,
and we are sure you will provide
so that, as in Cana of Galilee,
we may return to joy and to feasting
after this time of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform to the will of the Father
and to do as we are told by Jesus,
who has taken upon himself our sufferings
and carried our sorrows
to lead us, through the cross,
to the joy of the resurrection. Amen.

Under your protection, we seek refuge, Holy Mother of God. Do not disdain the entreaties of we who are in trial, but deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin.

In these moments, let us hold true to our faith and our commitment to each other. Let us stand together in support of those who need us most. I ask that we draw closer together in prayer and in support of those around us who suffer from sickness, unemployment, isolation, food insecurity, and anxiety.

With your continued support and solidarity, Catholic Charities will continue to provide our communities with the essential tools and resources needed to face those challenges. Now more than ever, we believe in laboring in the streets and searching for those left behind and forgotten due to isolation, poverty, and injustice. We commit ourselves to assisting those at greatest risk of contracting the virus and whose fundamental needs for food, shelter, and safety would go unmet without assistance.

Now is the time to dig deepin our hearts, prayers, and treasure.

God bless and be well.

Yours gratefully,

Deacon Rick Birkel, Ph.D.
Executive Director

Program Updates

Explore several ways you can support our most vulnerable neighbors during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Kenton Women’s Village:
Our staff provides in-person housing and case management supports to formerly houseless women. In efforts to keep villagers safe and healthy, the onsite village manager and case managers are helping women access community healthcare resources and maintaining food and supplies. Villagers are in need of diet-specific food, pet food, and cleaning productsplease visit the KWV Amazon Wish List.

Housing Transitions Program (HTP):
HTP’s drop-in center provides hot meals, showers, and laundry services to those living on the streets and to those who experience housing and food insecurity. During this time, our HTP Street Outreach team also offers soap, hand sanitizer, and other hygiene products to people living outdoors. Please consider making an in-kind donation through the HTP Amazon Wish List to keep our supplies stocked.

Resident Services:
Catholic Charities staff is conducting routine wellness checks for approximately 2,000 residents living within our Caritas Housing communities, offering resources to care for critical wellness needs. We plan to expand our volunteer initiatives to allow those willing and able to assist with meal delivery and / or wellness checks. Stay tuned for further information on open volunteer opportunities.

Food Pantry at Clark Family Center:
We have expanded our food pantry services to two days a week, Wednesdays and Fridays, from 12:00-2:00 p.m. Individuals and families experiencing food insecurity are welcome to visit during those hours. Our pantry needs several supplies, including:

  • Paper bags
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Nitrile gloves
  • Ziplock bags

If you’re able to donate any of those items, please contact us.

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