The funding is from the foundation's Muriel H. Marshall Fund for the Aging. Catholic Charities has been receiving the funding since 2010, when it began offering the Home Visitation Program.
The intent of the program is to decrease the detrimental effects of physical isolation, such as loneliness and depression, through socialization and companionship. Volunteer visitors provide assistance with light housekeeping, errands or recreational activities as part of an overall support network to maintain the senior in their community-based residence.
In the past year, the program has served 70 people; 43 of those are current active members. The program has enlisted 48 volunteers for the 2016-17 year, with 39 currently active.
"The Rochester Area Community Foundation is the majority funder for this program, and we are incredibly thankful for their support," said Sandy Neubauer, Home Visitation Program manager. "Social isolation has so many negative consequences - mentally, spiritually and physically. Not only does this program work to combat those consequences, it truly grows friendships. Usually the volunteer and the client have an hour-long visit once a week, but gradually the visits last longer and the two become friends. These friendships are mutually beneficial, and we often see the client improve in mental, spiritual and physical aspects."
Jennifer Leonard, president and chief executive officer of the Rochester Area Community Foundation, said the Home Visitation Program matches the vision of Roxanne Marshall, the fund's creator.
"This visitation program is the kind of service that retired librarian Roxanne Marshall had in mind when she outlined her vision for helping older adults through the Muriel H. Marshall Fund," said Leonard. "We are delighted that something as simple as a visit from another person can be so beneficial and brighten someone's day."
For more information about the Home Visitation Program, call (585) 343-0614. The program operates out of Catholic Charities' Batavia office, 25 Liberty St., Suite 7.
Other Catholic Charities services provided in Genesee County include basic assistance; counseling for individuals, children and families; Domestic Violence Offenders program; Our Kids: Parent Education Awareness Program for divorced or separated parents experiencing custody issues; and Encompass Children's Health Home.
Catholic Charities has helped individuals and families in need since its founding in 1923. That need is varied and widespread - from emergency assistance to counseling and from specialized services for the elderly to help with job training and education. Catholic Charities empowers children, families and seniors to achieve meaningful, healthy and productive lives. In all situations, Catholic Charities delivers support to meet immediate needs, and then assess its clients for other needs to ensure long-term success.
Catholic Charities is an excellent steward of the contributions it receives. Catholic Charities receives the highest-possible rating (four stars) from Charity Navigator for transparency and sound fiscal management. Catholic Charities also receives the highest ratings from the Council on Accreditation for quality service.
For further information about the organization and its programs and services, contact Catholic Charities at (716) 218-1400 or go to ccwny.org. You can also check out Catholic Charities on Facebook at facebook.com/ccbuffalo, on Twitter at twitter.com/ccbuffalo and on Instagram at Instagram.com/catholiccharitiesbuffalo.