Since September 2018, the local homeless shelter, Second Place East, has been operating at capacity. When the Parish was made aware of this, they wanted to address the problem in our area and settled on the idea of a coin collection. David Biviano, the Chairman of the Coin Box Collection stated, “We can’t look the other way and pretend homelessness in the Elmira area doesn’t exist. It does. Our faith requires that we respond…not only with sympathy, but with action.”
From mid-September to the first week in March, parishioners contributed their spare change each weekend at the parish churches – Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Casimir, St. Mary, St. Patrick and Saints Peter and Paul. By December, $7,000 was raised which allowed new mattresses, bed frames, chairs, and a couch to be purchased for the Shelter. The additional funds raised will be used to purchase a kitchen table, assist residents with obtaining birth certificates and identification as well as bus tickets and rental assistance. Chuck Nocera, Executive Director for Catholic Charities commented, “The Coin Box Collection has been an excellent example of how parishioners put their compassion into action to help others that are between blessings.”
The Second Place East Homeless Shelter is one of the community’s safety nets for the most vulnerable individuals and families in our community. Working in conjunction with Catholic Charities’ Samaritan Center, they provide housing, homeless prevention services, food, financial help, facilitated enrollment in programs and more. In 2018, 370 adults and 95 children received emergency shelter and support on their journey toward permanent housing.
Catholic Charities of Chemung and Schuyler’s mission is about helping the most vulnerable members of our community and impacting their safety and well-being. Catholic Charities works to create change in the lives of individuals, families and the community. Community partnerships, such as this one, are essential in creating a safety net for those in need. If you are interested in assisting, please visit cs-cc.org or call 607-734-9784, ext. 2133 for ways you can help. It’s amazing what we can do together.