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By Craig Braack

Catholic Charities Steuben/Livingston Fostering Hope and Healing in the Community

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The Hornell organization has emerged as a true pillar of hope, healing, and support for the entire community

By Johanna Elattar

HORNELL, NY – Nestled in the heart of Hornell, New York, Catholic Charities Steuben/Livingston has become a shining beacon of support and compassion for the residents of Steuben County. Located at 12 Allen Street, Hornell, this organization has been transforming lives and offering assistance to those in need.

At this remarkable organization is Business Relations Specialist, Steve Olix, who has devoted ten years of his life to serving the community. Alongside him is Sally Reasue, a recent addition to the team, who has already made a profound impact on the lives of those they serve during her two-month tenure at Catholic Charities Steuben/Livingston.

The impact of Catholic Charities Steuben/Livingston on the local community is immense, with approximately 400 families in Hornell and 1000 families in Steuben County receiving vital assistance from the organization. To be eligible for support, individuals must be residents of Steuben County, ensuring that the services reach those who need them most. Those in need of services can simply drop in, and they will be welcomed and helped.

 

One of the key features that sets Catholic Charities Steuben/Livingston apart is their commitment to upholding the dignity and respect of every individual and family they serve. When discussing the organization’s unique approach, Steven Olix emphasized the importance of removing the stigma often associated with seeking assistance from a food bank. Their food pantry, more akin to a store, provides a welcoming atmosphere for families, especially the children, ensuring that those in need can access nourishment without feelings of shame or judgment.

In a heartwarming anecdote shared by Steven and Sally, they recounted an incident involving an 8- year-old girl who was invited to a birthday party but lacked the means to bring a gift. Thanks to the support of Catholic Charities Steuben/Livingston and the assistance of Hornell Program Assistant, Dorothy Winger, the child received a wrapped gift, allowing her to attend the celebration with dignity and joy.

However, the scope of Catholic Charities Steuben/Livingston extends far beyond their food pantry. They provide comprehensive support to individuals and families struggling with various challenges, such as rent payments, grocery expenses, and access to medical and psychological assistance.

Particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization has been witnessing a surge in demand for their services, with regular customers returning for much-needed support.

Catholic Charities Steuben/Livingston actively reaches out to the community through Facebook live streams and word of mouth, ensuring that their services are known and accessible to those who require them. Additionally, they collaborate closely with the Hornell Police Department in cases involving familial abuse, drug addiction, and homelessness, working hand in hand to provide a safety net for those in crisis.

Furthermore, Catholic Charities Steuben/Livingston collaborates with Pro Action and the VA to assist homeless veterans, offering essential resources for mental health support and affordable housing options. For every dollar donated, 90% goes to helping people, while 10% is used to cover administrative costs.

Christmas holds immense significance at Catholic Charities Steuben/Livingston, as it brings with it a spirit of generosity and compassion. Currently, there is an ongoing toy donation drive, where community members generously contribute to ensure that children in need receive gifts and experience the joy of the season. At Catholic Charities Steuben/Livingston, individuals have the opportunity to partake in a meaningful initiative by “adopting” a less fortunate family during the holiday season. This involves voluntarily providing essential items and gifts to support the family in need. The program serves as a channel through which compassionate community members can extend their generosity to those facing challenging circumstances, fostering a spirit of giving and solidarity within the community.

Catholic Charities Steuben/Livingston’s dedication to the well-being of each individual they serve is evident in the heartwarming success stories they shared. One such story involved a Navy veteran grappling with drug addiction, PTSD, and other challenges. Through the unwavering support of Catholic Charities Steuben/Livingston, she was able to reclaim her life, overcoming addiction and finding a path to stability and happiness. Another tale centered around an elderly man who sought assistance from the pantry to meet his basic needs. The caring staff at Catholic Charities Steuben/Livingston knew him by name and provided him with not just food but also essential hygiene products, ensuring that his dignity remained intact.

Catholic Charities Steuben/Livingston is also backed by generous donations from Wegmans, ensuring that their clients have access to fresh produce, food, and necessary household items, including diapers, feminine hygiene products, baby formula, toothpaste, and shampoo.

In a world where a helping hand can make all the difference, “Catholic Charities Steuben/Livingston” in Hornell, NY, has emerged as a true pillar of hope, healing, and support for the entire community. As they continue to extend their compassionate outreach, this organization continues to uplift the lives of those in need, one act of kindness at a time.


My name is Johanna Elattar. I currently reside in Hornell, NY. I was raised in Brooklyn, NY, and have been writing from a very young age. My work has been published in New York, San Francisco, Colorado, and Texas. My written works encompass a diverse range, spanning from insightful commentary on contemporary social issues to engaging fiction.

For any inquiries or collaborations, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at the following email address: Americangrrl70@gmail.com

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