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Cardinal GEORGE TO present over half-million dollars
to Social Justice community organizations

CCHD Grants Address Church’s Effort To Empower the Poor

Chicago, IL ( September 7, 2007 ) - Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., Archbishop of Chicago, will announce a record $533,000 in Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) grant money to twenty-one social justice groups at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, September 20 at Old St. Mary’s Church, 1500 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago.

Very Rev. John F. Canary, Vicar General of the Archdiocese, Most Rev. Francis J. Kane, Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago and John Carr, Executive Director, Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, will join Cardinal George at the event. The Cardinal is expected to acknowledge the generosity of Chicago-area Catholics who responded to the 2006 CCHD collection, which witnessed participation by ninety-eight percent of Archdiocesan parishes.

The 2007 collection will take place in parishes across Cook and Lake counties on November 17 and 18. This year’s CCHD grant money, raised by the 2006 CCHD collection, will target local groups and organizations with missions devoted to anti-violence, affordable housing, immigration and improving Chicago-area neighborhoods. The Cardinal’s announcement highlights the church’s ongoing social justice efforts that provide direct help to the many Cook and Lake County organizations that work to improve the lives of the impoverished.

During the grant presentations, members of the Chicago Worker’s Collaborative will speak about how CCHD allows them to mobilize immigrant workers and improve the quality of their lives. “CCHD funding enables us to develop the leadership of low-wage immigrant workers so they can have a voice in their workplace and in their community, said Tim Bell, Executive Director of the Collaborative. “In three years, workers have helped pass six new laws in Illinois that improve workers wages and further protect their rights.”

Tom Lenz, director of Lake County United says, “Social justice problems are not just limited to the city of Chicago, and neither is CCHD. CCHD has been extremely helpful to Lake County United’s efforts to save the county’s nursing home for the indigent and to help immigrants organize in Waukegan.” Ed Shurna, director of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, adds, “CCHD funding allows us to improve the business practices of our Fair Trade Coffee Project that sells coffee at area Farmer’s Markets in support of our goals.”

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development is the domestic anti-poverty, social justice program of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Their mission is to address the root causes of poverty in America through promotion and support of community-controlled, self-help organizations and transformative education.

The following Chicago-based organizations (unless noted otherwise)
will be in attendance to receive their share of the $533,000* grant money
from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD):

  • Access Living, $15,000 for disability issues
  • The Albany Park Neighborhood Council, $35,000 for immigrant issues
  • Blocks Together, $15,000 for violence prevention issues
  • Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, $15,000 for education issues
  • Chicago ACORN , $15,000 for violence prevention issues
  • Chicago Coalition for the Homeless , $10,000 for economic development issues
  • The Chicago Worker’s Collaborative, $40,000 for workers’ issues
  • Community Organizing for Family, $35,000 for education issues
  • The Community Renewal Society, $15,000 for seniors’ issues
  • The Developing Communities Project, $15,000 for education issues
  • The Illinois Hunger Coalition, $10,000 for immigrant issues
  • The Interfaith Leadership Project, $30,000 for immigrant issues
  • Lake County United, $20,000 for housing issues
  • The Latino Union of Chicago, $20,000 for workers’ issues
  • The Little Village Environmental Justice, $35,000 for environment issues
  • The Logan Square Neighborhood Association, $40,000 for housing issues
  • The Northwest Neighborhood Federation, $35,000 for violence prevention issues
  • The Progress Center for Independent Living, $15,000 for disability issues
  • The Southwest Organizing Project, $20,000 for violence prevention issues
  • The TARGET Area Development Corporation, $35,000 for violence prevention issues
  • WomanCraft, Incorporated, $50,000 for economic development issues.

* The grant total includes $13,000 in developmental seed money for area organizations.

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