Recent controversy surrounding the Catholic Church, along with a sour economy and state budget cuts are hitting Lubbock's Catholic Family Services particularly hard. Money is tight at the social services agency while the needs of the poor are growing.
This latest black eye for the Catholic Church isn't doing Lubbock's Catholic Family Services any favors. But despite mounting obstacles, the charitable agency says it's up to the challenge. "It's a challenge, but we're committed to the mission. We'll do it," says Catholic Family Services Executive Director Jeff Malpiede.
Malpiede is quick to distance his non-profit organization from the scandal enveloping the Catholic church right now. But he admits, it isn't easy. "Naturally, it hurts to see these things because it takes away from your focus."
Discouraged by the deluge of negative news, Malpiede says this agency will remain resolute. "We're not going to turn our backs on the poor because some church members have made bad choices," says Malpiede.
Lubbock's Catholic Family Services provides help to those in need. It gives those who qualify food, clothing, even money to help pay utility bills and rent. The agency also helps single parents through college, counsels at-risk youth and helps seniors purchase prescription drugs. "Even in tough times, you want to look down the road and say, 'What can we do better?,'" says Malpiede.
That's not an empty promise considering how well this agency is currently handling tough times and circumstances beyond their control. Along with a national scandal, the agency is toughing out an economic downturn and a state budget crisis.
Much of their funding comes from individual donors When the economy's sour, this doesn't happen as often. Also with a state budget deficit, Catholic Family Services' funding is being sliced. Its been cut by a whopping $100,000, from $700,000 last year to $600,000 this year.
But, this organization was founded on faith, and Malpiede says even one of the largest deficits in state history, and one of the messiest scandals in national history, can't take faith away. Malpiede says their needs are always greater than their resources. But he says, one way or another they will find the resources to meet their needs.
If you'd like to donate, or if you think you qualify for help, you can contact Catholic Family Services at (806) 765-8475.