With nearly 143,000 people served in Washington D.C. and the five surrounding Maryland counties within the past year, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington released their 2018-2019 annual report Dec. 30, citing milestones such as $28 million given in pro bono services and 1 million pounds of food distributed to local pantries this year.

“We are so proud of what we have been able to accomplish in 2019,” Msgr. John Enzler, president and CEO of Catholic Charities said in a statement. “We are always guided by the principle to just ‘say yes’ to all those who come to us for help, and our incredible community of supporters enables us to do just that. For that, we are eternally grateful.” 

The agency’s 58 programs are divided into five areas: enterprise, education and employment; adult and children clinical services; housing and homeless services; family, parish and community outreach; and developmental disabilities services. 

Programs such as the weekly St. Maria’s Meals served a warm and nutritious meal to nearly 29,000 people. Through Immigration Legal Services, more than 3,000 cases were opened and closed through a pro bono network consisting of private attorneys and law firms. In the various shelters supported through Catholic Charities, around 1,500 beds were filled with the homeless each evening. Through family, parish and community outreach, nearly 8,000 people received food and clothing at the Catholic Charities Center in Montgomery County in Maryland. Programs also assisted 164 adults with developmental disabilities to obtain the help needed to develop skills and training necessary to get jobs. 

The annual report acknowledged the new leadership of Washington Archbishop Wilton Gregory, who was installed as the seventh archbishop of Washington on May 21, 2019. His first site visit as archbishop was to Catholic Charities. 

“What a gift to have as our archbishop someone who cares so deeply about Catholic Charities and our work for the poor,” Msgr. Enzler said in the annual report.

In 2019, Catholic Charities saw an increase in both volunteer hours as well as an increase in pro bono services from doctors, dentists, lawyers, accountants, and other professionals, the report said. More than 5,000 people volunteered for more than 143,000 hours. 

With the generosity of 7,588 individual donors as well as other fundraising efforts and government grants, Catholic Charities was able to put almost 87 cents of each dollar directly to their outreach services. 

The past year carried its own challenges, to which Catholic Charities responded, the report said. At the beginning of 2019, several government workers in the area struggled with paying their bills due to the government shut down. Catholic Charities was able to provide up to $500 a worker to help with necessities such as rent, food, car payments, child care, and medical services. More than 260 government workers received financial assistance and more than 150 workers were gifted SHARE grocery packages, according to the report.

The report also included stories from clients about how the services of Catholic Charities assisted them in times of need.

To read the full annual report from Catholic Charities, visit: https://www.catholiccharitiesdc.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Catholic-Charities-20182019-Annual-Report-Final.pdf