News

first federal charitable foundation logo


P: 570.501.2784

First Federal Charitable Catherine McAuley CenterThe Catherine McAuley Center in Scranton received a grant from the First Federal Charitable Foundation that the organization will use to replace the roof on its Catherine McAuley House in Pittston, which provides temporary shelter for women and children in crisis.

The Catherine McAuley House is part of the center’s Emergency Shelter Program, which addresses the need to provide a safe, comfortable and fully-equipped environment to house a growing population of homeless women and children in Luzerne County. The current roof is needed to stop water damage from leaks that is threatening to make the residence rooms inhabitable. The grant will be used toward the purchase and installation costs of this capital improvement project.

Jenny Blanchard, development coordinator for the Catherine McAuley Center, said, “Approximately half of the local homeless population in Luzerne County consists of families with children and, among those families, 90% are female headed. The Catherine McAuley House remains the primary source of shelter for homeless women and children in Luzerne County. In addition to reducing levels of economic stress and food insecurity, stable housing helps to keep families intact and prevent children from entering the child welfare system. Providing emergency shelter also helps to lower the incidence of domestic violence and substance abuse.”

In addition to the emergency housing, the Catherine McAuley House provides supportive services to women and children that include intensive case management, medicial assessment, health service referrals, transportation, linkages to community resources, life skills training, housing counseling, and assistance accessing employment and training opportunities.

The history of the Catherine McAuley Center traces its origins to a group of dedicated members of the Sisters of Mercy community, who first identified the crisis in housing for women and children in Scranton. Over the past 33 years of service in Lackawanna County and 28 years in Luzerne County, the Catherine McAuley Center has grown to serve more than 2,000 women, children and low-income families in the course of a single year.

First Federal Charitable Foundation Executive Director Megan Kennedy said, “The Catherine McAuley Center provides vital services to women and children throughout our county who are faced with a crisis, so we are proud to provide them with this grant to help them continue the work they do with this critical emergency shelter. As we enter the winter season, it’s especially evident how important it is for people to have a warm, safe place to get out of the cold and receive the help they need.” 

The First Federal Charitable Foundation was established to support worthwhile community causes. It strives to nurture nonprofit institutions and programs that will effectively serve those in need from the community, empower nonprofit institutions and programs that will expand their presence in and services to the area, and promote opportunities for new nonprofit institutions and programs that will serve the unserved.

Nonprofit organizations with a 501(c)(3) IRS designation that are located in Luzerne, Schuylkill, Carbon and Columbia counties are eligible to apply. Any organization whose headquarters is in another county but services either Luzerne, Schuylkill, Carbon or Columbia counties may apply for a grant to be used in one of those counties.

For more information on the foundation or to obtain a grant application, visit www.1stfederalcharitable.org or call 570-501-2784.

CAPTION: First Federal Charitable Foundation Executive Director Megan Kennedy, far right, presents a grant to Krista Somers, executive director of the Catherine McAuley Center. Also pictured are, from left: Tony Cusatis, president of the First Federal Charitable Foundation Board of Directors, and Jenny Blanchard, development coordinator for the Catherine McAuley Center.

First Federal Charitable Foundation

8 West Broad Street, Suite 208
Hazleton, PA 18201
P: 570.501.2784