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Catholic Group Gives 100K to Veterans Home

By Matt Abbott

Some nice news for a change.

The Chicago-based Illinois Club for Catholic Women has given $100,000 to Catholic Charities of Chicago to assist in the building of the St. Leo Residence for Veterans.

In a recent letter to the editor in the Chicago Sun-Times, the Rev. Michael Boland, administrator of Catholic Charities, wrote (excerpted):

“The plight of almost 300,000 homeless veterans in the United States has been called a national tragedy. Eighteen thousand of these homeless veterans live in the six-county Chicago area -- 8,000 of them on the South Side….

“In a historic collaboration, Catholic Charities in 2002 accepted the invitation of the Department of Veterans Affairs to be partners with the VA to provide much-needed housing and medical services for homeless veterans. …

“The new St. Leo Residence will provide housing for 141 veterans in studio apartments that include kitchens and bathrooms. Most of the furniture will be donated by Hilton Chicago. Catholic Charities will offer on-site social services to the residents.

“The St. Leo campus will feature a VA outpatient health care Clinic and Resource Center. The Department of Labor will provide employment services so that the veterans can become self-sufficient and permanently improve their situation. Another partner, the Vet Center, will provide counseling for veterans and their families….

“Homeless veterans have long been neglected and largely invisible members of our communities. Since Catholic Charities was founded in April 1917, in the week that the United States entered World War I, we have helped veterans coping with homelessness, poverty, depression and addiction, and assisted them and their families with food, clothing or rental assistance. Five percent of the 1,200 residents now in our 18 senior residences are veterans….”

The Illinois Club for Catholic Women (ICCW) holds an annual debutante ball in Chicago.

Oh…in the interest of full disclosure, my mother is the new president of the ICCW. :)


Matt Abbott
  IL, US
Matt Abbott - Author, 



Catholic, Abbott

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