Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Inc.

Impact Stories

Our client's succes is important to us. Here are real stories of real people who have come to Catholic Charities for our programs and services. 


“When asked what Catholic Charities means to me, the first thing that comes to mind is the immense amount of support, kindness, and encouragement my family received.”  Heidi came to Catholic Charities with an unplanned pregnancy and struggling to get custody of her son.  She knew that her life was in chaos and she needed help.  Heidi was working on her sobriety and wanted to do better for her children. 

Jessica, Catholic Charities’ Pregnancy Support Coordinator, provided emotional support and helped Heidi find vital prenatal and postpartum care. This led to the healthy birth of her baby girl who is growing and thriving. Jessica and Heidi continue to work on parenting skills for both of her children. “The parenting skills Catholic Charities provides me with will continue to impact my children, improving the health of my family and strengthening our family bonds. We have forever been changed for the better.”

Learn more about Pregnancy Support and Birth Parent Counseling



John, a 65 year-old Vietnam veteran, battled with severe obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety, and depression.  Then, in August 2016, John was brutally attacked, leaving him physically unable to care for himself and his home. 

John’s physical and mental health struggles manifested into a hoarding disorder. The condition of his home became so dangerous that he was issued an eviction notice.  With nowhere else to turn and facing homelessness, John came to Catholic Charities for help. 

With the support of Carla, Director of In-Home Support Services, the court delayed the eviction.  Carla and her team worked around the clock to remove safety hazards from John’s apartment and established a six-month care plan. 

John’s physical wounds have healed and he receives needed therapy to cope with his mental health issues.  Today, John is living a happy, healthy and independent life.  

Learn more about In-Home Support Services and Hoarding Intervention & Treatment



After witnessing a highly traumatic event, 8-year-old José had trouble sleeping and was having frightening flashbacks and nightmares. Concerned for his well-being, Jose’s parents brought him to Catholic Charities seeking help.

Our bilingual behavioral health therapist, Ramona, began teaching José basic coping skills to relax his body and mind and to identify safe places and people. He was given a safe, comfortable place to talk, play, draw, and learn, and he quickly began to show signs of improvement.  

His parents were relieved. “We’re so blessed that Ramona was able to help my son and our family,” José’s mother said. “I’m just so happy to see my little boy be himself again.”

Learn more about Behavioral Health Services



Mark connected with Catholic Charities three years ago because he needed help with parenting skills.  He was a single father with a one year old son. Adding the very real challenges of an intellectual disability and Autism, Mark didn’t know how to be a good dad.

He began meeting weekly with a family support worker from our Supported Parenting Program. During their in home visits, they focus on nurturing skills, developmentally appropriate milestones, establishing a daily routine including a family rules chart, and how to be consistent with positive discipline. Mark enjoys problem solving with his family support worker and learns new skills from her. The family support worker also advocates for Mark with healthcare professionals, teachers and others who can help them.

Mark has become more independent and confident in his parenting. He is an active participant in all aspects of his son’s life, including school now that he is in kindergarten. Mark continues to work with his family support worker and enjoys being the best dad possible.

Learn more about Supported Parenting Services



Overcome with financial burdens, Costanza called our Outreach program for help. She was working part-time, recently separated from her husband, and felt emotionally drained. In her first meeting with the case manager, Costanza revealed her history of abuse.

With her case manager’s help, they developed a plan for recovery. They set an appointment with a Catholic Charities’ bilingual therapist to work through past trauma. The case manager provided a list of food and clothing pantries, helped Costanza apply for energy assistance, set up doctor appointments, and registered for a pharmacy discount card. She also helped Costanza search and apply for full-time employment.

Today, Costanza has a new job with good benefits and is living independently and hopeful.

Learn more about Outreach & Case Management services



When Peter came to Catholic Charities’ Adult Day Center, four years ago, he was struggling with severe anxiety and depression. Although Peter’s attendance was sporadic, the staff built a strong relationship with him.  The center’s director, Annette, recognized his talent as a handwriting expert.  She created opportunities for Peter to share his talent with other members, staff, and volunteers, who love his remarkable insight, and she inspired him to author a book on handwriting.

Today, Peter attends the center regularly and is able to manage his depression to live a healthy and happy life.  “I’m glad to be doing something that I love,” Peter said, “I’m so grateful to all the people at Catholic Charities for helping me enjoy life again!”

Learn more about Adult Day Services




Carmen came to the United States at 16 to escape the chaos that plagued her early childhood. She soon met a man who seemed caring and protective – she felt safe. It wasn’t long after they married that her husband began to treat Carmen just as her father treated her mother. Carmen’s first pregnancy made her husband angry. She withstood humiliation and abuse, never calling the police because her husband convinced her that calling the police was useless. He threatened her with deportation and loosing custody of the children. One day, he threatened their daughter, and Carmen found the courage to leave.

A local domestic violence shelter referred Carmen to Catholic Charities’ Legal Services for Immigrants program. She was surprised when our staff said her case was fairly common. Carmen and her legal services attorney prepared an extensive and detailed affidavit. They gathered all the evidence and mailed in an application for protection under the Violence Against Women Act.  Today, Carmen has lawful permanent residency. She and her children are safe. Carmen is working and going to school part-time.

Learn about Legal Services for Immigrants




In 1996, Zwazita fled her war-torn homeland in the Congo, to a refugee camp in Tanzania, with her husband and 10 children. In 2013, her husband died of cancer while in the camp, and Zwazita was left to care for the children. Two years later, she and six of her children were resettled in Milwaukee through Catholic Charities’ Refugee Resettlement program. Two of her adult sons had already resettled here and there was great joy when Zwazita and the children arrived.

The family thrives, thanks to the committed work of their Catholic Charities resettlement case worker who spoke Zwazita’s dialect and made the transition to a new culture so much easier. Zwazita started to learn English through the agency’s English as a Second Language classes. She takes pride in her younger children who are doing well in school. 

Today, she and one of her older daughters are happily employed, and the family is now self-sufficient. Zwazita has two adult children who are married and still in the refugee camp – they look forward to the day when they are reunited.

Learn about Refugee Resettlement Services



When Matt and Erica married, they knew they wanted to form their family through adoption.  In 2014, they adopted their first son, John, with the help of Catholic Charities.  Two years later, they were ready to grow their family and came back to Catholic Charities.  Once they were introduced to Jason, who was born with severe Spina Bifida, they opened their hearts and home to this little boy. 

Both big-brother, John, and Jason are thriving in their new family and enjoy a wonderful open relationship with their birth families. Matt and Erica look forward to adopting their third child through Catholic Charities and recently shared, “Our Catholic Charities social workers have been a constant support throughout this process and have helped us to navigate the complex process of adoption.”

Learn more about Adoption Services




Overwhelmed with depression and thoughts of suicide, Tonya came to Catholic Charities seeking help. Tonya met regularly with a Behavioral Health Therapist to work through her depression. Tonya revealed that she was struggling with unhealthy relationships with men and had lost her job. She admitted she was becoming more withdrawn, crying frequently, and feeling hopeless. Her therapist helped her manage her depression and develop coping skills.

Tonya’s depression has become manageable and she continues to journal and use other skills she learned from her therapist. She is once again employed and has even enrolled in college to further her personal and professional growth. She said, “I now have a great outlook on my future thanks to the counseling I received.”

Learn more about Behavior



Six months into a high-risk pregnancy, with two young children at home, Naomi came to Catholic Charities in need of support. Pregnancy Support Coordinator, Maggie, worked with Naomi to help her reduce stress and achieve a healthy birth. Naomi’s baby was born premature, and at 5 weeks old, her baby developed an intestinal infection requiring surgery. Naomi was struggling financially, and Maggie helped her apply for assistance to alleviate the cost of medical bills. Also, finding deeper mental health needs, Maggie connected Naomi with Catholic Charities’ in-home behavioral health therapist.

Today, Naomi and her children are in a better place. “I am so thankful for Maggie’s support,” Naomi said. “I couldn’t have found a better place than Catholic Charities!”

Learn more about Pregnancy Support and Birth Parent Counseling


Catholic Charities

Mailing Address: PO Box 070912
                            Milwaukee, WI 53207-0912

Delivery Address: 3501 S. Lake Drive
                             St. Francis, WI 53235

Office Locations and Phone Numbers

Serving our neighbors in need in Dodge,
Fond du Lac, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Kenosha, Sheboygan, Walworth, Washington and Waukesha Counties.

©2019 Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Inc.