Help vulnerable communities recognize their potential. 

The 2023 Challenge Winners

The focus of the latest Innovation Challenge was on workforce development and fostering the sustainable economic security of individuals and communities through social services, community support, training, job strategies and industry-driven education.

Three Catholic Charities agencies were awarded top prizes of $633,000, while six agencies won $100,000 each, for a total of $2.5 million. Read about all nine winning programs.

  1. Catholic Charities Eastern Washington
  2. Catholic Charities Diocese of Nashville
  3. Catholic Social Services, Rapid City


From PSH to Paycheck

Millions of people with disabilities opt out of work for fear of losing disability, housing and other benefits, depriving them of the dignity of work, costing the government billions and degrading the common good as families stay in poverty. Through a partnership with Skils’kin — a Source America affiliate and part of the federal AbilityOne program — low-income people with disabilities in our permanent supportive housing are welcomed into the workforce without risking benefits.  

Learn more about Catholic Charities Eastern Washington and watch a video about their Innovation Challenge-winning entry.


Public Sector Pathways to Prosperity

Public Sector Pathways to Prosperity operates in four largely rural middle Tennessee communities. By leveraging partnerships with American Jobs Centers and the nation’s first federally registered teacher apprenticeship program, Grow Your Own Tennessee, the program will help 40 households move out of poverty to economic stability in the first year and will expand the model by 50% each following year.

Learn more about Catholic Charities Diocese of Nashville and watch a video about their Innovation Challenge-winning entry.


Uplifting Parents Certification Program

The Uplifting Parents Certification Program aims to empower single parents to achieve greater financial and socioemotional stability and to aid in ending generational poverty by advancing their education/careers through certificate programs and wraparound services. Participants will receive comprehensive support services such as mentoring, stipends and community referrals as they work toward completing their respective certificates. 

Learn more about Catholic Social Services, Rapid City, and watch a video about their Innovation Challenge-winning entry.

Need assistance? Find a local Catholic Charities agency.

Previous Winners

Agencies recognized in 2020 proposed fresh solutions toward alleviating, reducing or eliminating poverty, with winners sharing a prize of $1 million.

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Omaha, Inc. 
Catholic Charities West Virginia, Inc.
Catholic Charities Diocese of Cleveland

In the business world, there is a lot of uncertainty. We teach our clients that there’s not just a straight path. You have to be creative, innovative and find a solution.

Karol Gonzalez Rivera, director of microbusiness and asset development, Catholic Charities Omaha

Program Stories

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