Community Spotlight: Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston
The attorneys of Fleming Law, P.C., believe strongly in community service. That’s why we have launched our “Community Spotlight” series. We want to highlight the work of individuals and organizations who make a difference in the lives of others and, in turn, make Houston and surrounding communities in southeast Texas such great places to live and work. We encourage you to get to know more about these individuals and organizations and, if possible, to become involved with them.
Get to Know Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston
2900 Louisiana Street
Houston, TX 77006
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston is a faith-based, non-profit organization which has provided caring and compassionate services and promoted social justice initiatives in Houston and throughout southeast Texas since 1943. Even though it is affiliated with the Catholic Church, the organization reaches out to help people from all religious faiths and all walks of life. In fact, in an average year, Catholic Charities provides services to more than 85,000 people.
The organization features offices in three counties (Harris, Fort Bend and Galveston), and it serves seven other counties in southeast Texas (Austin, Brazoria, Grimes, Montgomery, San Jacinto, Walker and Waller). It is a United Way of Greater Houston agency and a member of the Catholic Charities USA network.
The Council on Accreditation and Better Business Bureau have accredited the organization. In 2018, Catholic Charities was named a BBB Winner of Distinction for Nonprofits. IN 2015, it received a BBB Pinnacle Award for Nonprofits.
The services which Catholic Charities provides fall into four areas:
Nurturing and Caring for Children
Helping children from all different backgrounds in the Houston area is a major focus of Catholic Charities. The organization provides:
- Pregnancy and parenting services – Catholic Charities helps women to bring children into the world through counseling, education and pregnancy tests as well as through post-adoption services.
- Foster care homes for refugees and immigrants – The organization provides a safe and nurturing environment for unaccompanied children who have fled harsh conditions in their native lands to come to the United States. In some cases, the children are referred by the Office of Refugee Resettlement.
- School counseling – Catholic Charities provides in-school counseling to young children in the Houston area’s inner-city Catholic schools.
Many families in the Greater Houston area struggle to make ends meet, and often due to circumstances which are beyond their control. The Catholic Charities network helps these families to get through the difficult times they face by offering services that include:
- Basic needs – The organization steps in to help families by providing food, clothing, housing and health care assistance, including a residential facility for women with young children who are making the transition from abusive situations.
- Counseling – Catholic Charities provides a wide range of counseling services, including marital counsel, to individuals and families.
- Disaster relief – When natural disasters such as Hurricane Harvey strike the Houston area, Catholic Charities springs into action. The organization helps to provide food and shelter to families who face short-term and long-term challenges brought on by a natural disaster.
Supporting Refugees and Immigrants
Individuals and families who come to the United States to escape threatening situations in their home land can turn to Catholic Charities for assistance in a broad range of areas, from housing assistance to legal assistance. Among the services which the organization provides to refugees and immigrants are:
- Pro bono legal services – Volunteer attorneys and paralegals help refugees and immigrants to navigate our complex immigration system by providing free legal guidance and, in some cases, legal representation in matters that include citizenship applications and applications for DACA status.
- Crime victim assistance – Sadly, many immigrants are victims of crimes that include theft, violence and trafficking, but they are unaware of where to go for assistance. Catholic Charities helps crime victims to find the services and support they need.
- Other services – If refugees meet specific federal guidelines, Catholic Charities can help their families to reunite, resettle, find employment and become self-sufficient.
Promoting Independence for Seniors, Veterans and Others
Catholic Charities strives to help seniors to live independently as long as possible. Through its network, the organization can provide home visits and ensure that seniors’ basic needs are being met. In particular, the Mamie George Community Center in Richmond provides classes, activities and hot meals for elderly residents.
Additionally, Catholic Charities offers:
- HIV/AIDS ministry – Counseling, financial assistance and case management services are available to people living with HIV/AIDS and their families.
- Female veteran services – Catholic Charities helps women veterans to make the adjustment to civilian life, including providing counseling, housing, employment and basic needs assistance.
You Can Support Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston
Catholic Charities receives funding from a variety of sources, including government agencies, foundations and the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. However, the organization’s financial support comes from individual and private donors as well.
If you wish to make a donation, you can find a variety of ways to do so, including monthly giving, matching gifts, charitable bequests, IRA charitable contributions and simply making a donation of any amount by check or online.
Catholic Charities also accepts in-kind donations such as baby items, furniture, clothes, food, toys, houseware and appliances. You can even donate a used vehicle to Catholic Charities. As with cash donations, non-cash donations are tax deductible.
If you cannot support Catholic Charities financially, then you can take advantage of many different opportunities to volunteer with the organization. Volunteers are needed to:
- Feed the hungry
- Organize events
- Teach language or life skills
- Work at gift shops and donation centers
- Provide legal services on a pro bono basis.
Additionally, you can contribute by hosting drives in the Greater Houston area such as a Christmas Toy Drive or Thanksgiving Food Drive. Contact the organization’s volunteer coordinator at (713) 874-6563 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about how you can lend your time and talents to support the mission of Catholic Charities.
Michael P. Fleming is a highly experienced litigator who has argued and won a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a Houston resident who was twice elected to serve as the Harris County Attorney. He is also an avid runner who has completed eight marathons, to date, including two in Ireland. Only a small group of Texas lawyers are Board Certified as specialists in both Personal Injury Trial Law and Real Estate Law. Michael is one of them. He also proudly holds his B.A. degree from the University of Saint Thomas and his J.D. degree from the University of Houston College of Law.