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Desiree Downs of Casa San Francisco receives 2018 Delmarva Jefferson Award

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MILTON – Desiree Downs thought more than the normal number of people were waiting when she pulled a food cooperative truck onto the parking lot of Catholic Charities’ office in the Dover area last month.

Then she found out they were not all participants in the coop from the Dover area. Her family was there, along with state Sen. Brian Pettyjohn of Georgetown, a WBOC television crew, and some coop participants from the 10 sites Downs visits in Sussex County. Read more »

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Annual Catholic Appeal ensures Casa San Francisco reaches those in need

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MILTON – Casa San Francisco’s Basic Needs staff doesn’t want its clients to come back.

But don’t think the workers at the Catholic Charities agency are cold-hearted. What they want is a holistic approach that leaves each client better equipped to cope with life, so they do not have to return.

“We address what it is that causes you to be in this situation,” said Alan Southard, Sussex Services manager for Catholic Charities. “We’re trying to fix not only a [momentary] problem but the person.” Read more »

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Annual Catholic Appeal helps the homeless and jobless become self-sufficient

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For The Dialog

Annual Catholic Appeal helps support diocesan ministries for homeless young mothers and for the jobless

Neither Kelly Adams nor Arden Johnson ever imagined they would become homeless until each of their lives unraveled, about a decade apart.

Adams, 25, had studied at Delaware Tech in Dover, with the hope of becoming a nurse, when her financial aid ran out. She had a job and her own place to live until she lost her job last June and later her residence. She started living with friends and relatives on a rotating basis. Later that summer she learned she was pregnant. Read more »

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Bishop Malooly blesses Catholic Charities’ new Casa San Francisco in Milton

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Dialog reporter

MILTON – After many years of hopes, prayers and plans, Catholic Charities opened a new Casa San Francisco in Milton this past June. And on Nov. 5, donors, Charities officials and diocesan leaders gathered for the official dedication of the improved emergency shelter and food pantry facility.

Bishop Malooly blesses Catholic Charities' new Casa San Francisco facility in Milton, Nov. 5. (The Dialog/Mike Lang)

Bishop Malooly blesses Catholic Charities’ new Casa San Francisco facility in Milton, Nov. 5. (The Dialog/Mike Lang)

“We’re doing exactly what Jesus encouraged his followers to do,” Bishop Malooly said on a warm, overcast afternoon. As he and others went outside following lunch for the dedication, a light rain began to fall, but it ended within a few minutes.

Catholics are called on to care for their neighbors, and that is what happens every day at Casa San Francisco, the bishop said. “For Jesus, there was never a stranger,” he said.

Melinda Woolf, the program manager, said the move had been in the works for years. The original Casa San Francisco, which opened in 1981, was held together with “spit and glue,” she said. The original structure, which is still standing, had been expanded several times as the needs of the community increased, “but it couldn’t hold up anymore. We definitely outgrew the building.”

The new facility has five bedrooms that can accommodate 12 people, compared to two bedrooms and six people. Each resident has his or her own nightstand and dresser, along with room to move around. There are five offices, a study, common room and a food-distribution center.

Casa provides all of the services Catholic Charities offers: case management, basic needs assistance, energy assistance and food, among others. Woolf said Casa helps more than 450 families in Sussex County with food assistance; about 10,000 pounds of food moves in and out of the building each month.

The new building was constructed on what was the agency’s parking lot. Once the old building is moved, that site will become parking. The original structure is considered historic.

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Catholic Charities’ new Casa San Francisco shelter in Milton will be dedicated Nov. 5

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Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Wilmington will dedicate the new home of its shelter services program in Milton, Casa San Francisco, on Nov. 5.

Catholic Charities new Casa San Francisco in Milton will be dedicated by Bishop Malooly on Nov. 5. (Catholic Charities)

Catholic Charities new Casa San Francisco in Milton will be dedicated by Bishop Malooly on Nov. 5. (Catholic Charities)

Bishop Malooly will bless the facility on 127 Broad Street, at 1 p.m. The dedication will be followed with an open house for community members and facility tours.

“We are excited to greet the Town of Milton and our neighbors at our beautiful new building,” said Richelle A. Vible, Catholic Charities’ executive director. “Not only does our new facility enable us to provide services to our residents in a manner that respects their dignity and does not compromise their privacy, but it also allows for Catholic Charities to provide a greater number of services to the community as a whole. We welcome the opportunity to make available our Basic Needs, Behavioral Health Services, and Immigration programs to this area of Sussex County, joining our established Shelter Services and Food Assistance programs.”

The new construction has made the facility accessible for clients with physical handicaps who use wheelchairs or other assistive devices. The building houses three handicap accessible bedrooms, a handicap accessible bathroom, a laundry facility, kitchen, workspace, five private staff offices, and a multiuse room on the first floor, and two additional bedrooms with bath, office, food storage space and a client resource room are located upstairs.

The large multiuse room will accommodate group classes and educational workshops for both shelter residents and food distribution participants, and is available to the community for use.

The project was designed by architect Bill Byler. EDiS Company, a three-generation family construction business, provided construction and project management. Warfel Construction of Milford was the primary subcontractor.

Catholic Charities, the charitable arm of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, celebrates its 185th anniversary of serving those in need during 2015. The agency offers a wide range of services to strengthen families, care for children, assist the disadvantaged, and build human relationships throughout Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

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Catholic Charities’ tribute dinner April 15: Casa San Francisco in Milton inspired Abessinios to help

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Dialog Editor

Rocco and Mary Abessinio became interested in helping Casa San Francisco, Catholic Charities’ emergency shelter and food pantry in Milton, one Sunday when they were attending St. Ann’s in Bethany Beach.

During Mass, there was a representative who “was soliciting food, not money, but food,” Rocco Abessinio recalled recently.

“We were intrigued and decided to drive to Milton to visit the facility. Casa San Francisco was in dire need of not only food, but the money to provide the basics to the needy families. We decided to make this one of our main interests. We are pleased to see the facility now under construction that will go a long way in providing for those in need in downstate Delaware.” Read more »

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Distributing hope, food and shelter: Catholic Charities’ Casa San Francisco meets a need for emergency food and shelter in Milton

November 28th, 2013 Posted in Our Diocese Tags:

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For The Dialog

 

MILTON – When Gail left her professional job in the Northwest to care for her ailing mother, she did not realize her world was about to fall apart.

Back in Wilmington, Gail began drinking, and drinking, and drinking. She became an alcoholic and soon found herself on the streets. Now she is working her way back to self-sufficiency, partly with the help of Casa San Francisco. She spoke on the condition that only her first name be used.

“There is hope,” Gail, 53, told a breakfast promoting Casa San Francisco in recognition of Homeless Hunger and Awareness Week Read more »

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