Catholic Charities honored

Agency recognized for work in reducing poverty through Financial Health Program

ccnewlogo20090827Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Green Bay received a Centennial award from Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) for its work in reducing poverty through the Financial Health Program.

The award, in the form of a grant, recognized programs that help move people out of poverty. CCUSA’s goal is to reduce poverty 50 percent by 2020.

"This award is a wonderful recognition for the Financial Health Program and all we do to help families attain self sufficiency," said Bobbie Lison, operations manager of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Green Bay.

CCUSA recognized award-winning programs at leadership summits held throughout the U.S. Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Green Bay was recognized at a seven-state summit in Chicago.

Seeds of Hope Initiative

The award also recognized the Seeds of Hope Initiative, which was created to raise community awareness of poverty. Seeds of Hope began as a partnership of four local organizations, including Catholic Charities.

"It is possible for small agencies to shine amongst agencies that are larger and located in highly urbanized settings," Lison said.

The Financial Health Program provides new, innovative services based on needs clients identify. The program works with individuals and families on a long-term basis to empower them through community outreach and legislative advocacy.

Strengthening and empowering families

The fundamental goal of the Financial Health Program is to strengthen and empower families "by teaching them how to fish, rather than just providing them with one fish." The program:

  provides families the tools they need to become better stewards of their incomes;

  helps families identify ways to increase personal income and assets;

  Fr. Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA presents Centennial Award to Karen Johnston, director, and Bobbie Lison, operations manager.

  and encourages them to advocate for change.

Catholic Charities works directly with Wisconsin state legislators to educate lawmakers on how payday lending practices affect their constituents. Catholic Charities also urges families and individuals to make their plights known to their legislators to help them better understand the issues.

From homelessness to homeownership

"We have had several clients who have progressed from homelessness to homeownership and have given back to the community by volunteering on community boards, relating their experiences by speaking at various venues, or becoming family advocates for participants of the Habitat for Humanity Program," Lison said.

Catholic Charities provides services relating to family strengthening, mental health, and child welfare as well as financial counseling.

"Catholic Charities is committed to providing seamless services to those seeking assistance," said Lison.

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Green Bay serves people of all faiths regardless of income. More than 40,000 people are served each year.

For more information on services provided by Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Green Bay, call 1-877-500-3580, ext. 8234, or (920) 272-8234 or visit