Published April 12, 2007
The Atlanta Council of the St. Vincent de Paul Society and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Inc. have announced their intention to explore new ways in which to increase collaboration to provide better services to people in need in metro Atlanta and north Georgia.
As part of this new collaboration, Atlanta Council executive director John A. Berry has joined the board of directors of Catholic Charities Atlanta. And Joseph Krygiel, chief executive officer of Catholic Charities Atlanta, has joined the Atlanta Council’s board of directors.
“This is the beginning of a new partnership between our two charities,” said Berry. “The core missions of our charities, quite simply, are to help people in need to the best of our abilities. So by working together, we will enhance our capabilities and maximize our efficiency. The bottom line is that we will improve the levels of service we provide to the community.”
Some potential areas of collaboration are establishing English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, coordinating relief efforts during times of natural disasters and providing joint direct financial aid to people in extreme circumstances. For example, the Atlanta Council offers several levels of ESL classes in its Chamblee Learning Center, depending on the students’ language skills. The curricula for these courses are already established, so the courses can be readily “exported” to other locations where they are most needed.
As another example, the Atlanta Council was heavily involved in the Hurricane Katrina relief effort, providing food, clothing, medicines and temporary apartments for the hurricane victims as they arrived in Georgia. At that time, the Council partnered with numerous other social service agencies such as United Way, Hosea Feed the Hungry and Furniture Bank of Atlanta.
Relief efforts to the Katrina evacuees are still being conducted by the Atlanta Council and Catholic Charities Atlanta. The Atlanta Council has a full-time social worker on staff who develops recovery plans customized to meet the specific needs of the evacuee families. Catholic Charities Atlanta has distributed over $1.3 million in funds and served over 6,000 families. Catholic Charities Atlanta has also resettled more than 400 families locally as new homeowners in foreclosed properties controlled by the Fannie Mae Mortgage Corp.
For more information on the St. Vincent de Paul Society, visit the Web site at www.svdpatl.org. For more information on Catholic Charities of Atlanta, Inc., visit www.catholiccharitiesatlanta.org.