Vermont Catholic Charities’ work continues during pandemic
Vermont Catholic Charities is continuing to serve persons and families in need even during the Covid-19 pandemic and its travel, work and gathering restrictions.
“Vermont Catholic Charities is committed to serving people in our community during this difficult time,” said Mary Beth Pinard, executive director of Vermont Catholic Charities. “Our office is still open, but we are making some temporary changes due to the Covid-19 virus.”
The Emergency Aid Program will continue to operate, including parish referrals. “We know individuals and families will need help and we want to do what we can,” Pinard said. Clients can call the office’s telephone line and give information over the phone. Emergency aid coordinators in Rutland and South Burlington will contact clients and get necessary information using technology.
Vermont Catholic Charities staff has seen clients impacted by Covid-19 over the last week. Among them was young woman who was to start a new job in mid-March but now has no job, no benefits and doesn’t know when or if the job will begin. Vermont Catholic Charities helped her with rent.
A young, single mother of two children who worked in retail and has lost her job due to the pandemic is waiting for benefits. In the meantime, Catholic Charities helped her with food cards.
Pinard noted that her agency also helped a woman who worked in food service at a local college and lost her job. She received food cards while she awaits benefits.
“The immediate increase in requests appear to be food and rent related,” Pinard said. “People who have abruptly lost their jobs are very worried about trying to keep up with their essential bills (housing, heat, utilities) while they are also coming up short for food and household items (diapers, cleaning supplies, hygiene items).”
In addition to emergency assistance, Vermont Catholic Charities continues to provide counseling services. “Our counselors are continuing to meet with clients remotely via phone or videoconference call,” Pinard said.
For counseling services, call 802-658-6111. “If it is an emergency, they need to call 911,” she emphasized.
One of the Catholic Charities counselors, Sharon Trani, recently did a webinar on “How to Stay Calm in the Midst of the Unknown.” It is available on the diocesan website, vermontcatholic.org under “Spiritual Resources, Covid-19.”
An upcoming webinar on how to enjoy family life is in the works.
Vermont Catholic Charities’ eldercare homes in Burlington, Rutland and Derby Line are in full operation.