Emergency Aid Department began operating in 1965 as the first social services program of Catholic Charities, and was formally established in 1968 with the sole purpose of assisting with the distribution of food, clothes, and limited prescription medication assistance. In 1966, with the financial support from the Kenedy Memorial Foundation, we became the first program to provide meals to the homeless and unmet services to people in need. In 1967, when Hurricane Beulah landed in the City of Corpus Christi, the Emergency Aid Department began the implementation of the first Emergency Disaster Response in the city and surrounding communities making a priority the delivery of food, drinking water, clothes, emergency first aid kits, and cleaning supplies; the efforts were made possible with the support of the Kenedy Memorial Foundation. The distribution of food was extended throughout the Christmas season, which has become a tradition since that time. In 1981, we answered the call and became the first program in our area to support the efforts of the US Marines Toys for Tots Campaign. Each year, we assist well over 17,000 individuals with a Christmas meal, and approximately 4,100 children with toys.
Today the Emergency Aid Department is recognized as the heart of Catholic Charities, assisting approximately 37,000 households with food. In addition, we assist with rent, rent deposits, utilities, evictions and disconnections for the prevention of homelessness. The department is known to develop and implement services based on the needs of the people and the communities we serve.
The Emergency Aid Department assists primarily families and individuals living 80% below the Area Median Income (AMI). Approximately 89.3% of the people we serve are living below the AMI, 43.8% are children, and 76.2% are families with children living paycheck to paycheck. Our care and compassion impel us to work for the “common good of all,” bringing awareness for the need to “reduce poverty” in our communities.
The Emergency Aid Department provides services to approximately 59,800 individuals on a yearly basis.
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Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey
Wm. Michael Mulvey was ordained the eighth bishop of the Diocese of Corpus Christi on March 25, 2010. Pope Benedict XVI named him bishop on January 18, 2010.
Bishop Thomas J. Drury
(1965 - 1983)
The beginning of Bishop Drury's administration was during and after the Second Vatican Council. He initiated many new programs such as Catholic Charities of Corpus Christi, which began to operate it's Emergency Aid Department in 1965, and was formally established in 1968.
Monsignor Robert E. Freeman
Appointed first Director of Catholic Charities of Corpus Christi in 1971.
With the Jubilee of Mercy, Pope Francis focuses attention to our merciful God who invites all men and women to return to Him. The encounter with God inspires in us the virtue of Mercy. The Holy Father stated: “This is the time of mercy. It is important that the lay faithful live it and bring it into different social environments. Go forth!”
"You are the salt, leaven and light that provides a beacon of hope to those in need. You as Catholic Charities…help to change the course of your local communities, your states, your country and the world by your witness to that encounter with the Lord Jesus, who gives us abundant life and joy." - Pope Francis, 2014 address to Catholic Charities.
Feed the Hungry: Following our Catholic tradition of “sharing food with ALL,” and in the Holy Father’s words “When food is shared in a fair way, with solidarity, when no one is deprived, every community can meet the need of the poorest.” Catholic Charities will ensure access to nutritious food to all in need, and in our efforts to reduce food insecurity and hunger, our outreach program will increase its support to all rural communities within the Diocese of Corpus Christi.
Give Drink to the Thirsty: Throughout the 8 most populated Colonias in our Diocese residents experience a lack of some of the most basic living necessities, such as potable water, sewer systems, safe housing, electricity, and paved roads. Catholic Charities will continue to work providing basic needs, and most importantly assisting the elderly, families with children, and the disabled who lack the means to safe drinking water.
Cloth the Naked: Our Catholic identity is the foundation for all we do. We carry on the sacred heritage of our faith established 2,000 years ago, and we heed the call of the early church to make sure that all needs are met. Catholic Charities has an extensive lightly worn closet of casual and professional clothes, which is made available to all individuals and Parishes in our 12 County service area. Saint Matthew 25:31-46.
Shelter the Homeless: The Emergency Aid Department provides financial assistance to families and individuals experiencing homelessness due to evictions, and disconnections of utilities/electricity. Collectively, our programs benefit from a wraparound system of services that provides rental counseling and workshops, we empower families and individuals about ways to budget and manage their income, making sound decisions that will later create self-sufficiency and financial independence.
Giving Aid to Migrants and Refugees: “Migrants and refugees are not pawns on the chessboard of humanity. They are children, women, and men who share a legitimate desire for knowing and having, but above all for being more.” - Pope Francis
“Among the unrest and uncertainty, we must remain true to our faith and our Catholic identity; we most continue to treat all immigrants and refugees with dignity and love…for they are children of God.” - Bishop Mulvey
Catholic Charities Immigration and Refugee Services assist by giving immediate and long-term humanitarian assistance; offers legal guidance; provide refugee resettlement services; assist with cultural integration, and help with the preparation and submission of documents.
Instruct the Ignorant: During this Jubilee Year of Mercy, Catholic Charities will focus on educating our community by reintroducing the history and service of each one of our Departments and Programs. Starting in January 2016, chronologically, each Department of Catholic Charities will be outlined on our website under a segment entitled “Our Purpose and Our Call to Serve.”
Among the many responsibilities of Catholic Charities we are witness to the love of Christ and to our faith that is our voice to the poor. Poverty calls us to sow hope.
The Jubilee Year of Mercy logo is taking directly from the official Vatican website – the logo of the
Holy Year of Mercy is courtesy of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization.