Catholic Social Services

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Current economic conditions, exacerbated by the COVID-19 public health emergency, has caused the inflation of nearly every good and service. The CSS Emergency Services program is increasingly valuable to the community while becoming more costly to execute. Examples of how Emergency Services have helped families in need include:

  • The mother of a special needs child who could no longer work due to her own health issues was given money to help pay her rent.
  • A refugee family of five from Sudan, needed help finding housing and covering the rent for a new apartment, plus food for their family.
  • With the price of food up almost 12%, low income families are struggling to pay for groceries, gas, and other necessities. The number of people being served at the CSS Food Market is increasing steadily.
  • A person who filed for disability over a year ago but has not yet been approved, received funds to pay their utilities.  

Overall, consumer prices rose 8.6% over the last year ending May 2022. Food at home prices rose nearly 12%, and furnishings and operations rose to almost 9%. Motor vehicle maintenance has increased 3.2% (St. Louis Fed, 2022). Gasoline prices rose nearly 50% (BLS, 2022). The value of our delivered goods rose to just under 21%, while the cost of handling such goods increased more than 53%. Families who were barely scraping by before are finding it increasingly difficult to put food on the table and may have to make difficult decisions about paying for that food or their housing costs. The fact is 64% of Americans, our friends and neighbors, are living paycheck to paycheck (CNBC, 2022).

With $100,000 from the The Big Give, presented by UBT, CSS will be able to provide financial assistance to help pay rent and utilities to thousands of families, and help to feed the growing number of people requesting food from our CSS Food Market, all in the Lincoln/Lancaster County area.

In addition to rent, utility and food assistance, our Emergency Services program collaborates with referring community agencies to provide furniture (including delivery), car donations, and thrift store gift cards to allow our clients the dignity of shopping for themselves. These unique offerings support the dignity of the clients and contribute to reduced homelessness. We receive hundreds of referrals from 15+ different agencies including Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department, Matt Talbot Kitchen, People City Mission, etc. We participate in meetings/committees and utilize Clarity, a community-wide database system, to track client needs and services, preventing duplication and ensuring strong resource utilization. Staff capacity and ability (dual language), client and community trust, and coordinated systems equip CSS to address these community needs.

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The statements and information presented on this page are provided by the nonprofit organization and are not a representation of or associated with Union Bank & Trust.