The Archdiocese of Chicago’s Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), the U.S. Catholic bishops’ domestic anti-poverty program, will be held at archdiocesan parishes the weekend of Nov. 18-19, 2023. This national collection is the sole source of funding for CCHD’s community and economic development grants and education programs for locally-based programs. Fifty percent of the funds collected at Chicago-area parishes remain in the archdiocese to support local anti-poverty projects. In 2023-2024, CCHD will support 10 non-profits organizations in Cook and Lake counties with $400,000 in grants.
“When Catholics donate to the CCHD collection, they are living out the Gospel message of opening their hearts to help the marginalized and oppressed,” said Cardinal Blase Cupich, archbishop of Chicago. “The Church’s commitment to the poor follows Christ’s example of compassion and connectedness with the vulnerable. Together, we can improve many lives.”
Nearly 38 million people in the United States live in poverty. CCHD recipients are community groups working to make changes at a local level by developing leaders and giving low-income people a voice in decisions that affect their lives, families and society. The belief that those directly affected by unjust systems and structures have the best insight into knowing how to change them is central to CCHD.
The grants, based on need and not religious affiliation, are screened and awarded with the approval of Cardinal Cupich and focus on changing systemic inequities that keep people in poverty. They aim to: effect economic and community development in marginalized communities; increase access to affordable housing; advocate for the rights of seniors, workers, immigrants and people with disabilities; build communities working for racial equity and justice; and prevent violence and promote reconciliation.
CCHD, founded in 1969, has two objectives: empowering the poor, and educating others about the root causes of poverty. It supports both local and national grants. Local grants are allocated from a funding pool dedicated to supporting grassroot non-profit organizations in Cook and Lake counties. Grant awards range from $10,000 to $20,000 and are renewable for up to three years. National grants are allocated and administered by the national CCHD office in Washington, D.C. A percentage of funds collected locally comes back to Chicago from this national pool in the form of grants that range from $25,000 to $75,000. National grants are renewable for up to six years (community development) or three years (economic development).
Former CCHD grantee South Side Community Federal Credit Union awarded its prestigious South Side Star Award to CCHD for its efforts in alleviating poverty and its commitment to Chicago’s South Side community. CCHD representatives were honored at SSCFU’s 20th Anniversary Benefit and Gala on Nov. 11, 2023 at the South Shore Cultural Center.
The 2023-24 grant recipients include the following organizations:
• Alliance for Community Services
• Male Mogul Initiative
• Working Family Solidarity
• St. Agatha Dream Builders Association
• Alliance of the Southeast
• Chicago Coalition to Save Our Mental Health Centers
• ChiFresh Kitchen
• Lake County Sponsors
• Progress Center for Independent Living
• Southside Together Organizing for Power (STOP)
For more information about CCHD and the grant application process, please visit https://pvm.archchicago.org/human-dignity-solidarity/catholic-campaign-for-human-development