Catholic Charities of Buffalo recently celebrated its new location on Main Street in Dunkirk with a community event featuring welcoming remarks from leaders, tours and refreshments.
The move of Catholic Charities' services in Dunkirk also included an office of The Child Advocacy Program of Chautauqua County from its location within the Catholic Charities office to the new site as well.
Dennis Walczyk, Catholic Charities chief executive officer, welcomed the guests, including local elected leaders, partnering and referring organizations, parish representatives and other community members in attendance.
OBSERVER Photo by Matt Panebianco
The new Catholic Charities Dunkirk office is located on Main Street.
"It is terrific to welcome you all here to this bright and refreshed space, a location which we hope will serve well and for many years people who are in need in northern Chautauqua County," Walczyk said.
He also thanked the staff for their work in making the new site happen.
"The efforts of Tish Brady, our department director of Metro District Services, and Maria Perez-Cruz, Chautauqua County district director, and all of their staff members were critical to their success in establishing this beautiful, client-friendly facility," he said.
The Dunkirk office serving northern Chautauqua County residents was relocated at the start of this year and is a first-floor space with convenient parking behind the building. Previously, the office was located on Central Avenue in the city.
Sr. Mary McCarrick, OSF, Catholic Charities diocesan director, offered a prayer of blessing for the new site and thanked the community for their support of the annual Appeal, currently under way, and noted the level of support by the Appeal for services in Chautauqua County.
"I am pleased to share with you that in 2011, $560,000 in funds from the Appeal were invested in services in this county," Sr. McCarrick said.
Maria Perez-Cruz, Catholic Charities Chautauqua County district director, talked about Catholic Charities' long-time service to the area.
"Catholic Charities has been a pillar in Chautauqua County since December 1929, when the agency opened its first office in Dunkirk, which makes 83 years of service to the community," said Perez-Cruz. "We provide a variety of services and we contribute 100 percent to our local economy by hiring the area's most skillful and talented workers, and utilizing local businesses when providing assistance to our clients in need."
Perez-Cruz also paid tribute to such partners in service as Chautauqua County CAP, which shares space. She also introduced Jana McDermott, CAP director.
"I would like to emphasize the long-time partnership between Catholic Charities and CAP that has allowed us to provide services to children in the northern part of the county, and to be able to continue that," McDermott said. "With this new location, we are really improving and expanding our services. In addition, Catholic Charities has provided this space for so long without any acknowledgment."
Chautauqua County CAP is a safe, child-friendly center that supports a multi-disciplinary investigative approach to child physical and sexual abuse allegations. The program also operates a Jamestown office.
Services offered at the site through Catholic Charities include basic and emergency assistance, counseling for all ages, Our Kids: Parent Education and Awareness program for parents experiencing conflict during divorce or separation, domestic violence offenders program, and Chautauqua County Outreach for seniors through friendly home, hospital, nursing home or telephone visits.
For more information about services available, call Catholic Charities Dunkirk office at 366-3533 or go to www.ccwny.org. Check out Catholic Charities on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ccbuffalo and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ccbuffalo.
Catholic Charities is the most comprehensive human service provider serving all eight counties of Western New York, with 70 programs and 61 locations. Founded in 1923, Catholic Charities also provides, without regard to religious affiliation, comprehensive counseling services for children and families, anti-domestic violence programming and emergency services, among other social and mental health services.