Sunday, March 3, 2013
On Sunday, March 3, 2013, approximately 200 members of St. Mary Star of the Sea and St. Gertrude Parish in Far Rockaway benefitted from a dynamic new collaboration, the first of many, between Catholic Migration Services and Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens.
Catholic Migration Services was on hand to provide legal information and assistance regarding housing rights, labor rights and immigration issues. Representatives from Catholic Charities connected attendees with a range of disaster assistance services, such as case management, job training and placement, financial literacy and foreclosure prevention workshops, food pantries, and emergency assistance programs. Fidelis Care was on hand to offers free or low-cost comprehensive health insurance through Family Health Plus, Child Health Plus, and Medicaid Managed Care programs; covering checkups, prenatal care, preventive care, well-child visits, immunizations, lab tests, x-rays, hospitalization, emergency treatment, and more. Finally, volunteers from Queens Congregations United for Action assisted in directing individuals to the event as well as documenting the challenges that parishioners continue to face since the storm.
Parishioners from St. Mary Star of the Sea and St. Gertrude were invited after Mass to the school gym to receive direct access to important information and services. “Many issues facing communities today are dynamic and interrelated, necessitating a coordinated approach on the part of organizations and individuals aiming to make a positive impact on their communities,” says Josefa Castro, Community Project Director at Catholic Charities. “Such an approach allows needs to be addressed that exceed the scope of a single organization, and this is exactly our model of providing critical services under one roof.” The goal of this new collaboration is to provide residents of Brooklyn and Queens with easy and direct access to the Catholic agencies of the Diocese of Brooklyn that offer social services and immigration legal services.