News Articles

Above and Beyond: Part of the Solution

By Catherine Kirch

Part of the Solution (POTS) is an organization and community that helps people living in poverty find and create self-sufficiency. Located in the Bronx, POTS is one of 90 agencies that make up the Catholic Charities of New York.

POTS was founded in 1982 with a mission to alleviate hunger and create community. Since then, POTS has grown into a multi-service agency that takes a holistic approach to serving the homeless and working poor, calling themselves a “one-stop shop” to help individuals gain personal autonomy.

“We go above and beyond,” says Daune Moore, POTS’ Dining Room Coordinator. “Above and beyond, because sometimes it just takes that extra step to help someone.”

POTS addresses a wide variety of needs with a comprehensive roster of services and solutions. Through their food services, individuals are able to bring food home from the food pantry and be served hot meals in the community dining room, which looks and feels more like a local diner than a soup kitchen. Individuals can also look after their health at the medical and dental clinic.

Finding and keeping a job is one of the most important steps toward financial independence, and POTS supports job seekers in a number of ways. Their workforce development program helps individuals cultivate job skills and prepare for interviews. POTS also offers shower facilities, a barbershop, and clothing so that these individuals can look and feel their best when entering the job market.

Additionally, individuals can obtain legal help at POTS through their legal clinic, case management services, and the Immigrant Justice Corps. POTS also provides seasonal help, including school supplies for students and holiday meals and gifts.

What makes POTS stand out, however, is their philosophy and approach to service.

As Taina Rodriguez, Program Manager of POTS’ Emergency Food Program, puts it, “Anybody can do applications, anybody can give anybody a meal. That’s not what counts. What counts is how you make that individual feel.”

From their founding to today, POTS remains dedicated to making sure that anyone who comes through their doors feels valued and respected. The organization strives to cultivate community within an environment that is both hospitable and professional, where people are treated with compassion and dignity.

“There’s no ‘us’ and ‘them,’” says Sister Jane Iannucelli, one of the organization’s founders. “That was really and truly one of the foundational values of POTS, and still is today. Those who serve and those who are served are one.”

To learn more about Part of the Solution, please visit their website.