In Norwalk, staff intervenes on behalf of the disabled
The Norwalk office of Catholic Charities works with local community service providers to help individuals who, due to disability or circumstances, are unable to cope with the demands of life.
The 55-year-old man had always lived with his mother, who took care of him. When she was admitted into a local nursing home, he lapsed into a marginal existence. He was frequently exploited by neighbors who invited him to buy beer and drink with them.
When Catholic Charities learned of the situation, the man had fallen behind on his rent and utilities, since most of his money was being used to buy cigarettes and beer for the neighborhood. Also, his apartment was in need of maintenance, poorly furnished, and in an unsafe part of town.
Catholic Charities was able to provide him with financial education to help him make better decisions. He was placed in an apartment at another location and teamed with a local support group for ongoing contacts to help him avoid similar problems in the future.
“Our mission is not simply to provide people with whatever they need for as long as they need it,” Pat Krause, Catholic Charities Program Director, said. “We’re always taking steps toward teaching, guiding, supporting people in need, so that in the future they can provide for themselves to whatever extent possible.”
A 30-year-old developmentally disabled man had no income and no family to rely on for assistance. He had moved around from place to place, often being taken advantage of because of his disability. He was not aware of the assistance available to the developmentally disabled, so he had never accessed those services.
“Many times, people are just unable to access the support that already exists for them in the community,” Krause said. “In this case, we were able to organize the multiple service providers who then coordinated services for him. He was assisted with rent payments until he could establish a regular income through a job and through federal supplemental security income benefits,” she said. “One of our most important – and most successful – services is simply to line people up with the existing community resources. They need to live in dignity.”