By Peter Feuerherd
Newburgh – On Broadway in this Hudson River community, the message was sent that Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese is more than a single agency reaching out to the needs of New York City.
At a June 22 ribbon-cutting for a new facility for Catholic Charities here serving the needy of Orange, Sullivan, and Ulster counties, the focus was on meeting local concerns.
“The strength of Catholic Charities is the fact that although there are more than 90 agencies, they are rooted in local communities,” said Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, Executive Director, at the ceremony which attracted staff and local civic officials in the upstate region of the archdiocese.
Offices at 280 Broadway are now consolidated into a single office. Services offered include addiction counseling, immigration concerns and assistance to those dealing with housing and food issues.
Noting the presence of board members of the local agency, Msgr. Sullivan noted, “it’s local leadership that makes it strong.”
In 2021, the agency provided immigration assistance to 404, substance abuse treatment to 1,616, and provided 250,000 pounds of food to 12,000 needy individuals.
“I am hungry for good news,” said Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who spoke briefly at the event. “Where do I see life?” and “a sense of confidence in the future?” he said.
The participation of church and civic leaders in the mission of Catholic Charities in the three counties is part of the cooperation that is a sign of good news in the region, said the cardinal.
Shannon Kelly, chief executive officer of Catholic Charities of Orange, Sullivan and Ulster counties, noted that previously the services offered by the agency were spread over three offices. Now they will be in one, allowing for a smoother experience for clients who sometimes have multiple needs.
Other speakers at the event included Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus and county legislator Genesis Ramos, who served as an intern in the Charities’ immigration office.