Noticias de la Diócesis de Allentown

Grant Helps Catholic Charities Support Needs of Homeless Veterans

A new grant gives Catholic Charities the ability to help more veterans who are in danger of becoming homeless.

Occasionally, a homeless veteran can’t go to a shelter because he or she has pets, or has some other situation that can complicate placement.

The new grant from the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation provides Catholic Charities with the flexibility needed to help those veterans.

The Lehigh Valley Homeless Veteran Fund grants support projects that address transitional and supportive housing needs of homeless veterans in the Lehigh Valley; veteran-centric case management/counseling in relation to housing, employment, finance, and life-skills; or other veteran-oriented programs.

This grant enables Catholic Charities to provide the required security deposit and first month’s rent so a veteran, his or her spouse, and their pets can get into an apartment of their own, said Teri Dakuginow, Programs Director of Catholic Charities.

Catholic Charities also has other veteran’s grants, including one from the Lehigh Valley Military Affairs Council and the Veterans Administration, which is its largest grant administered by the Federal Government.

“Services are for case management first,” said Robert Nicolella, Executive Director of Catholic Charities. “The professional relationship between both the staff person and the veteran is the building block toward trust and moving forward.”

The next step is funding for material needs, he said.

“Most, if not all, of the veterans we serve are considered low or lower income. Thus, there are funds for rent assistance, utility assistance, funds to help those who are homeless such as hotel/motel assistance. There are funds to help with transportation – bus tickets, repair costs – even help with moving expenses if the veteran has items in storage.”

As part of its work with veterans, Catholic Charities provided services to 207 veterans from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022.

For more information about help for veterans, contact Teri Dakuginow at Catholic Charities, 610-435-1541, ext. 334 or