"To love and serve our neighbors as ourselves."

Learn how Catholic Charities partners with The United Way and other local agencies, like Interfaith Human Services, to meet the financial needs of our clients.

(From The Centre Daily Times)

This is the fourth and final entry in the CDT’s series on the United Way’s 2016 campaign.

The weeks prior have focused on the areas of health and education and how the agencies involved are approaching the same goal from multiple angles, often overlapping in their quest to help a single client.

When it comes to financial services, the story remains more or less the same.

“When people are facing major obstacles in their lives, one agency will most likely not fulfill all of the person’s needs,” said Wendy Vinhage, executive director of Interfaith Human Services.

Interfaith Human Services works with clients who are experiencing financial difficulties. Their approach is educationally based, with a focus on money management skills.

Vinhage understands that when it comes to financial duress, better accounting practices can only get you so far. Sometimes other resources need to be brought to the table.

“When people come to Interfaith Human Services after falling behind on utility payments, we often partner with Catholic Charities to get the person caught up on his/her bills. We are constantly working with United Way partner agencies to provide the best quality of service to those in need,” Vinhage said.

United Way funding has helped Catholic Charities to continue to offer services in the areas of housing stability, shelter and emergency financial assistance.

In working with clients, Sharon Felson, of the Catholic Charities Bellefonte office, said that the organization also attempts to keep the bigger picture in mind. This enables them to treat the ailment instead of just the symptoms.

“We take a holistic approach in working with our clients; to that end we are able to address the financial needs of our clients and are made aware of casual or contributing factors to the client’s economic situation,” Felson said.

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