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Readers’ Choice: The Top 5 Trending Catholic Charities New York Articles of 2019

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By Alice Garbarini Hurley and John-Mark de Palma

Looking back at 2019, it’s not hard to remember the struggles, turmoil and triumph of people across New York and the nation. We saw a lot of thoughtful debate, progress, disagreement and meaningful solutions. What mattered most to Catholic Charities website readers in 2019? Here’s a quick look at the trending stories that hit home, touched hearts, got people talking--and helped to inspire change.

What, if Suddenly, Immigration to the US Stopped? By Jim Sliney Jr., 8/14/2019

Many of our ancestors had to scramble for work, arriving at Ellis Island 100+ years ago and taking low-paying jobs as housemaids, gardeners, railroad builders, longshoremen, and more. But tough times for immigrants seriously spiked this year after President Trump’s February 2019 declaration of National Emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border. This put the spotlight on the plights of immigrants and refugees—and their children--nationwide. Our article examined what would happen if all undocumented workers were abruptly detained or removed. Among other things, the construction, farm and restaurant industries would suffer without the immigrant labor force. Our economy and daily lives are more intertwined with immigration than many people might initially suspect.

Catholic Charities of New York Ranks as NYC’s Best Affordable Housing Options for Women  By John-Mark de Palma, 3/20/2019

This article discusses established and safe residences for women in New York City and with the skyrocketing prices of rent in Manhattan and the boroughs, it really struck a chord. Six of the nine residences are operated by Catholic Charities Agencies. Catholic Charities of New York has an ongoing mission to provide safe and affordable housing options for women. Religious orders continue to run many of these residences, with each residence capable of housing between 80 and 150 women. Many of our readers were surprised to learn that these great options were available in the heart of the most vibrant parts of New York City.

An Important Statement on Immigration Raids in New York from Monsignor Sullivan 7/12/2019

Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, Executive Director of Catholic Charities of New York, issued this statement in response to news reports that the Trump Administration planned to begin raids to arrest and deport thousands of members of immigrant families on Sunday, July 14, 2019. “Once again, as the media reports threats of deportation and family separation, Catholic Charities is responding with increased services to support immigrant families, adults and children,” Monsignor Sullivan said. “We insist on the humane treatment of those who enter without proper documentation seeking protection and opportunity.” We reported that Catholic Charities city-wide and state-wide hotlines would be staffed and activated over the weekend and that we would provide real-time legal support. Hundreds of calls came into our hotline that weekend and in the days after. While the majority of our readers applauded the efforts of Catholic Charities that week, not everyone was approving.  Following up on social media comments and calls received at the center, Monsignor Kevin Sullivan wrote “Immigration Hotline Calls Reveal The Best and Worst of Human Nature” (July 18, 2019). This was the 7th most-read Catholic Charities article of 2019.

319 Miracles Happen: Catholic Charities is Creating Affordable Housing in NYC By Jim Sliney Jr., 7/18/2019

Affordable housing is one of the biggest issues facing New Yorkers. Readers clicked on this news link about the construction of Second Farms, a new 319-unit, low- and moderate-income building that is expected to open in the fall of 2020 in the West Farms neighborhood of the Bronx. Monsignor Kevin Sullivan joined Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz Jr., City Council Member Rafael Salamanca Jr. and representatives from the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) to mark the progress. Catholic Charities works every day in many ways to ensure that New York City remains an affordable place for working and low-income families.

Catholic Charities Officially Opens St. Augustine Terrace Housing By John-Mark de Palma, 4/10/2019

The 100 percent affordable housing units at St. Augustine Terrace in the Bronx opened to fanfare and prayer when Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Catholic Charities of New York Executive Director, Monsignor Kevin Sullivan and New York City’s First Lady, Chirlane McCray met at the site of the former St. Augustine Church. The environmentally friendly, LEED-certified building offers 112 affordable units for low-income families. St. Augustine Terrace is also one of the only affordable buildings to include supportive housing for adults with emotional and physical needs. They occupy 35 of these units, where they will receive social and medical services from the Catholic Charities’ Beacon of Hope program. This project is part of a larger initiative of the Archdiocese of New York and Catholic Charities of New York to upcycle underutilized church properties into affordable housing. “Housing is a basic human right,” said Monsignor Sullivan. It is expected that over the next 10 years, 2,000 affordable units will be created. Locations under development include Second Farms, Christopher Court, St. Philip Neri and St. Vincent de Paul Senior Center, all four in the Bronx, and Grand Street Guild in Manhattan.

Stay tuned for more great content in the New Year. We thank you for reading, and wish you a wonderful 2020!