CCHD: Supporting Institutional and Social Change

By Susan Hollis, Diocesan Director, Catholic Campaign for Human Development One in eight people in the United States lives in poverty. One in six West Virginians lives under that same strain. Along with the physical struggles of poverty, the poor may not know how to make change happen in their lives. Seeking to create positive change, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) was started by the United States Council of Catholic Bishops in 1969. CCHD strives to break the cycle of poverty by helping low-income people participate in decisions that affect their lives, families, and communities. Through funding community and economic development projects, CCHD helps people take hold of new and good things in their lives to help bring themselves up out of poverty. Currently in the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, CCHD is working with HOH Share, Inc. HOH Share, located in Wheeling, promotes positive change for those who are poor and live without housing. “We invest in innovative, people-driven projects that have unique approaches to giving voice, validity and dignity to the marginalized,” says Kate Marshall, Executive Director of HOH Share. With funding from CCHD, HOH Share is developing an advocacy arm of the organization. In the early stages they are starting by conducting listening sessions to better understand the core struggles that people are dealing with. From this intentional listening, HOH Share is creating a platform from which to fight for institutional and social change for people in our state. Lauren Kotz, a Peer Recovery Coach with HOH Share, said, “After the first listening session I already feel more excited, more empowered and like we really can create change in our community. I went home so fulfilled and actually really believing that we are going to do good stuff in our community!” HOH Share continues to empower those who are most vulnerable with this proactive approach to community organizing. The Catholic Campaign for Human Development is proud to partner with amaz- ing grassroots organizations to eradicate poverty and offer the poor a hand up, not a hand out. To learn more about CCHD, visit www.usccb.org/CCHD or e-mail shollis@ ccwva.org. The Mission of Catholic Charities West Virginia: Guided by God’s love, Catholic Charities collaborates with community partners, parishes and families to provide caring and compassionate services to people in need and work toward lasting and meaningful change.

An HOH listening session is conducted.

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