Thomasena Newton, as told to Karina Hotchkiss, CFC Intern

Thomasena Newton at her retirement celebration with CFC

Thomasena Newton is who many would call a saint, but even more would call a personal friend. Throughout her life, she has provided over 100 children with a home, fostering children from where she grew up in Monroe County, South Carolina to where she spent most of her career in Rochester, New York. That was when the social workers at Catholic Family Center met Thomasena, and her journey as a foster parent really began to unfold.

Ms. Newton grew up in South Carolina and moved to Rochester when she was in…


What to expect on the initial journey to getting clean

a story from Kristie Elias, LCSW, Vice President of Behavioral Heath at Catholic Family Center, as told to D-D Flannery

Alcohol and substance use, overdoses and the demand for addiction treatment continue to rise. The stress, financial hardships and isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to heavier drinking habits and increased drug abuse. This is presenting enormous challenges for individuals and their families, while robbing many of treatment options and support systems.

The Life Changing Event

Game changing events such as a sudden unfortunate circumstance, trauma, significant loss and…


A story from Lisa Lewis, Vice President of Housing and Stabilization Services for Catholic Family Center, and Katrina, one of her clients.

Stay Home! Two words everyone is saying these days. But, where do you go if you don’t have a home? This is the voice of so many who are struggling today. A growing number of people are finding themselves in a position they never imagined: homeless.

Our nation is in the midst of a housing crisis. The lack of affordable housing, unseen level of unemployment since the Great Depression in 1933, and the rise in depression and substance…


A story from Cheryl Moeller

Thousands of American families want to foster unaccompanied refugee children living in undesirable and often life-threatening conditions. That number continues to grow as news about the alarming conditions inside refugee camps are exposed.

For refugee minors, the State Department identifies children overseas who are eligible for resettlement in the U.S., but do not have a parent or a relative available and committed to providing for their long-term care. Upon arrival in the U.S., these refugee children are placed into the Unaccompanied Refugee Minors (URM) program and receive refugee foster care services and benefits.

Before the Center for Disease Control’s virus order took effect in late March that suspended the legal protections for refugees in effort to prevent coronavirus outbreaks, the Office of Refugee Resettlement program received more than 70 unaccompanied refugee minors (URM) on any given day. Source: Department of Health and Human Services data Get the data. …


A story from Kristie Elias and Kelly Murrell

Four months into the Covid-19 pandemic and our nation is on the verge of another health crisis, a mental-health one. Tens of thousands of people dead, millions facing economic devastation, and continued isolation from the lockdown are taking a psychological toll on Americans. More than half of American adults (56%) report that the coronavirus pandemic is harming their mental health, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll.

The increase in the number of suicides, fatal drug overdoses and instances of domestic abuse have mental health experts concerned about the pandemic’s impact on…


…a story from Kristie Elias, CFC’s Vice President for Behavioral Health Services

Addictions can have a devastating effect on the the whole family

Although opioid and other drug addictions receive far more attention than alcoholism lately, all addictions are harmful to the family’s well‑being.

For families and friends who have found the blessings of recovery, the holidays can be a time of joyfulness and gratitude. For others, it can be very painful and filled with disappointments as they experience the active phases of this family disease.

Many have a post-holiday tale to tell about how they barely made it through the festivities due to a loved one’s excessive drinking and the devastating effect it had on their family. …


a story to the editors from The Monroe County Aging Alliance

The Rochester Business Journal provided an important resource (subscription required) to the #ROC Rochester, NY community with the recently published Senior Living and Long-Term Care Servic­es Directory (Nov. 8, 2019). The listing of community resources that will assist older adults and their caregivers to remain independent and in their own home, if that is their preference, is helpful to this growing demographic.


a story from Michele Saccente, Placement Services Youth Mentor at CFC

… What we saw at the border — a collective story from CFC as we encounter families seeking asylum at the US Southern Border — Part 6

Continued from Part 5 https://medium.com/@CatholicFamCtr/catholic-charities-at-the-us-border-two-weeks-of-witnessing-fear-illness-desperation-and-hope-7d54bdc94591

To read from the beginning https://medium.com/@CatholicFamCtr/https-medium-com-catholicfamctr-what-we-saw-at-the-border-part-1-8f3c051d9e04

Happy Michele visiting the Sabino Canyon, Tuscon, AZ

I call my story, “ HOPE”. Hope is something we all carry with us, it’s something that we share with others and others share with us. I believe that Casa Alitas is a place of hope, a new chapter for all that enter through their doors. The volunteers, the staff and all Casa Alitas’ guests bring HOPE, each and every day. I traveled there with Catholic Family Center’s “Team ROC-585”, to Tucson, Arizona. There were five of us…


a story from Rae Glaser, Co-Director of NYS Kinship Navigator and staff writer D-D Flannery

Opioid overdoses have been on the rise since the late 1990’s, becoming the worst drug epidemic in modern American history. There were over 47,000 opioid overdose deaths in the United States in 2017 from heroin, synthetic fentanyl and opioid prescription pain relievers, leaving behind hundreds of thousands of children who have suffered the loss of their parents and homes because of death, incarceration, and child abuse and neglect, as a result of this epidemic.

Kin step in to take care of their kin

When parents…


Part 2 of a continuing story by Susan LeDoux

read Part 1 here

A client and her caregiver, used with permission

This blog continues the discussion about elder services provided by Catholic Family Center in Rochester, NY. Again, I am indebted to Virginia Clark, Associate Director, Aging and Adult Services, and for the photos provided by CFC’s Katherine Grant for their help.

STAR PROGRAM (Support To Aging Residents)

Elderly people and their caregivers often face transportation and home maintenance issues. The STAR program helps them remain independent despite these challenges.

SERVICES AND ELIGIBILITY: You must be at least 60 years old, live in Monroe County, have limited family support, and need access to community services.

It offers…

Catholic Family Center

Catholic Family Center is the largest provider of family services in #ROC, addressing issues of need across all stages of life. See more: www.cfcrochester.org

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