Success Stories


Nowhere To Go, But Up

Roger is a single father who lost his job, the home he shared with his two children, and the majority of their belongings through a string of bad luck.  

Roger had had a good job and was able to take good care of his two children. He provided a home, their basic needs and the toys and games all kids like to have. When the company for which he worked moved out of state, he lost his job and his downward spiral began.

He felt bad when he lost his job. He felt even worse when he and his children got evicted because he couldn’t pay the rent. He hit an all-time low when most of the family’s belongings and clothing got thrown out before he had a chance to return and pack them himself. 

“I felt terrible knowing that my kids used to have enough food, a place to live and good things that kids want,” Roger said. “I felt even worse knowing I could no longer give them those things.”

He was ashamed of not being able to take care of his family but knew he couldn't let his pride stand in the way. He sought help from Catholic Charities in Dunkirk and was able to get assistance with the immediate needs of food and medicine.   

Roger was able to move his family to the South Buffalo home of his mother and learned about the Bishop Edward U. Kmiec Food Pantry and Outreach from his friend, a volunteer there. When he learned the food pantry also had some donated clothing items available for people in need, he went to see if there were items for his boys. 

He received food and some clothing for his children and himself. Staff at the pantry connected him with the Ladies of Charity which provided school clothes for one child and diapers for the other. The Ladies of Charity also gave him a Fresh Start kit and a microwave.  

“The staff and volunteers always made me feel welcomed,” Roger said. “They’re all nice and I never had any problems.”  

Roger’s luck has begun to change because of the assistance he was given and through the new job he got at a nearby hospital. He’s beginning to feel as though stability and independence are within his reach.  And, for the first time in a long time, he’s happy and hopeful.

“I want to thank Catholic Charities, the volunteers and donors for everything,” he said. “I just thank them because they helped me and my kids to stay a family!”  



Achieving His Goals, One Step at a Time

Home is Where They Found Help

Karen* and her husband John* returned to the Buffalo area because John had family here and they  hoped to receive some help. With Karen pregnant and unable to get the help they needed from John's family, they soon found themselves living in a hotel.

Grace's Story

Grace* was 10 years old in 2006 when her father was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, a chronic autoimmune disorder affecting movement, sensation and bodily functions. Her mother was an alcoholic who was seldom home.

Bridging the Chasm, Rebuilding a Family

This inspiring letter was written by a mother named Kathy who sought help from Catholic Charities Multisystemic Therapy (MST) Program to resolve the complicated relationship with her daughter. Kathy wanted to share her story of success and accomplishment and also her appreciation of MST.

Regaining Control of Life

Albert Lyons, 21, moved  to North Carolina to be with his biological mother and sisters. When things did not work out for the Buffalo native, Albert returned and lived temporarily with relatives and close friends. Eventually, he found himself homeless.

Empowering a Family to Grow and Succeed

Jennifer Schmidt, a mother of three, sought help from Catholic Charities Multisystemic Therapy (MST) Program, an intensive, family-focused intervention serving families of delinquent youth, when her eldest son, Andrew, 13, became physically and verbally abusive toward his two younger sisters and also started skipping school.

Winning with WAGEES

When Tanysha was 17, she became pregnant with her first child and dropped out of school. At the time she had a job to support herself and young daughter, but when she became pregnant with her second child, she no longer worked. . She found herself feeling lost: no job, no education, and with two young children Tanysha needed to think about the future for herself and family.

Extending Generosity and Compassion

Catholic Charities' staff across the eight counties provides various professional services that benefit many people. The following are examples of the generosity and compassion offered to three families in Niagara County. Their names have been changed to protect their privacy.

Growing in the Right Direction

When she was growing up, Mary Douglas' life lacked the structure she needed to evolve into an independent, well-adjusted person. Without that structure, she found herself mixing with the wrong crowd. Being out late at night, drinking and even fighting became her lifestyle. She continually skipped class and ran away from home. It got to the point where Mary was placed in Erie County's Persons In Need of Supervision (PINS) program.

Helping a Family Start Afresh

For the longest time, Addie felt helpless as she watched her daughter begin to make poor decisions. Her daughter, 15, engaged in cutting, drugs and promiscuity. No matter how hard she tried, she could not prevent her daughter from making undesirable choices and that left her and her husband, Jason, feeling as if they had failed as parents. Just when it had seemed that all was lost, her daughter's counselor suggested Catholic Charities' Multisystemic Therapy (MST) program.