Fidelis Care has awarded $45,000 in grants to two local Catholic Charities initiatives. La Casa — the new diocesan migrant center in Sodus — and the Hispanic Community and Family Services Program in the Finger Lakes region each received $22,500 through Fidelis’ new Diocesan Grant Fund.
Fidelis Care — the statewide Catholic-sponsored health plan — established the fund in late 2004, according to Fidelis spokesman Joe Maltese. The Diocesan Grant Fund provides support to programs and services in dioceses throughout New York state that demonstrate a link to the mission of Fidelis Care and Catholic ministry. Initiatives in each of the eight dioceses in the state received grants, Maltese said.
The Diocesan Grant Fund is a natural extension of Fidelis Care’s mission of outreach to those in need, according to Mark Lane, president and CEO of Fidelis Care.
La Casa is a part of diocesan Catholic Charities’ Project Unity, the goal of which is to build relationships between rural, urban and suburban parishes. La Casa will provide a place for bridge-building between the migrant and Anglo communities, according to Sister of Mercy Janet Korn, social-justice awareness coordinator for diocesan Catholic Charities.
La Casa will also provide transitional housing for farm workers who need a temporary place to stay. Workers who become ill, have an accident or can’t immediately find work will be able to stay at the house until they recuperate or find work, Sister Korn said.
The grant from Fidelis Care will allow La Casa to hire a full-time staff person. This person will be there to manage intake at La Casa, support the farm workers and make referrals to health-care agencies, Sister Korn said.
Catholic Charities of the Finger Lakes operates the Hispanic Community and Family Services Program, which links low-income Spanish-speaking families in Cayuga, Seneca, Ontario, Wayne and Yates counties with social services related to health, nutritional, educational, transportation and other urgent needs.
“We are very grateful for and heartened by Fidelis Care’s generous gift,” Bishop Matthew H. Clark said in a press release. “As a diocese, we are committed to meeting the needs of our growing migrant and Hispanic populations, and this gift will help us in that endeavor.”