Heather Reynolds, President and CEO of Catholic Charities Fort Worth, was an invited speaker at a forum sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute, entitled Putting Faith to Work: Lessons from Faith-Based Organizations that Help Americans Get Jobs (November 16, 2015). In her talk, Ms. Reynolds emphasized Catholic Charities Fort Worth’s holistic and trust-based approach to reducing poverty through intensive case management for individuals and families in their community. In particular, Catholic Charities Fort Worth has developed two groundbreaking programs taking a long-term approach to moving individuals and families out of poverty by connecting them to high quality job opportunities through education and case management: Stay the Course and the Padua Poverty Pilot. Both programs are being evaluated in collaboration with the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO) at the University of Notre Dame, to rigorously test their models.
Catholic Charities Fort Worth is one of many Catholic Charities agencies nationwide helping connect their clients to employment. In 2014, 18,265 individuals achieved full time employment after receiving employment services at Catholic Charities; 72% of those clients earned jobs paying more than minimum wage. Learn more here.
Ms. Reynolds closed her presentation with a powerful challenge: “I ask you today to push us forward. To be the voice for the poor. To advocate for change. To hire an ex-offender. To be a mentor. To volunteer. To do something. It is up to each one of us. There are many reasons why people are in poverty. And there’s many faces to poverty and many problems that need to be solved for. But our one goal remains: to utterly destroy poverty. And one family at a time, I believe we can, and we will.”