Our client's success is important to us. Here are real stories of people who have come to Catholic Charities for our programs and services.
Meet Olivia, the newest member of the Terselic Family!
In early 2021, an expectant mother asked Catholic Charities to help her with an adoption plan for her child. She wanted a family who could provide a safe, loving home for her child and would be open to her having contact in the future. With the birth mother’s wishes known, the adoption case manager helped her and the adoptive parents walk through the adoption journey of paperwork and emotional support.
Laura and Mike Terselic and their adoptive son, Joey, were eager to welcome a new child into their family. Baby Olivia was placed with Laura and Mike from the hospital, and her adoption was finalized just in time to celebrate Christmas as a family of four. The Terselics are forever grateful to Olivia’s birth mother.
Learn more about our Adoption Services
You may imagine the hope and excitement that a new immigrant feels when they arrive in the U.S. It’s true, there is hope, but there is also sadness for the loss of family, culture, and country. Maria moved to the U.S. with her husband and daughter leaving behind her parents and friends. When the pandemic hit, Maria’s worries grew for everyone she loved. She could see her daughter struggling to adjust to online schooling and separation from friends. Maria desperately missed the support of her parents and was also incredibly worried for their health and safety.
Maria’s fear and sense of isolation affected everything – she was unable to sleep and couldn’t share her feelings with her husband. A friend recommended that she call Catholic Charities to speak with one of our bilingual, Spanish-speaking therapists, and Maria found the support she needed. By speaking with a therapist fluent in her first language, Maria was able to fully express all the emotions building up inside her. “Therapy helps me reconnect with myself and my family and to keep going. I’m able to rediscover my strengths and values,” said Maria.
Learn more about our Community Counseling Services
ADULT DAY SERVICES
Meet John, a U.S. Army Veteran of the Vietnam War, and member of our Adult Day Center. In his retirement, John loved to attend veteran’s events. The connection he found among friends and neighbors gave him a community he could depend on. But, as John reached his late seventies, health problems began to make a big impact on his safety and independence. He began to need a walker, and his dementia meant that he relied more on his wife, Carol, to complete tasks that at one time came easily to him. Carol and their son, Michael, do their best to care for John and to honor John’s wish to continue living at home.
To assist the family, the V.A. referred John to Catholic Charities’ Adult Day Center where he could enjoy time away from home each week in a safe and social environment, and his family would have a respite and relief knowing that John is well cared for. The friendly and welcoming staff encouraged John to attend the ADC two days a week. He enjoys his time playing games with the other members and staying engaged. He still loves attending veteran’s events when he can and sharing stories with his new friends at the ADC.
Learn more about Adult Day Services
PREGNANCY + PARENTING SUPPORT
With support from Catholic Charities, Tatyana received essential care for a healthy birth. Black mothers in the city of Milwaukee are four times more likely to have an adverse birth outcome. Our staff provides vital prenatal care coordination and parenting skills to help women facing an unplanned pregnancy receive the care they need for a healthy birth and first year for baby.
As a teen mother and high school student, Tatyana balances part-time work, studying, and caring for her children. Through a partnership with her school, Catholic Charities is a resource to Tatyana and other pregnant and parenting teens. Her case worker helps her learn about healthy child development and parenting. They work together on personal goals that will help Tatyana be the best mom she can be. Tatyana is hopeful for a bright future for her and her children as she continues pursuing her education. After graduating, she has her sights set on college and a career in nursing.
Learn more about our Pregnancy & Parenting Support Services
With help from Catholic Charities, at 91 Francine lives in the home she shared for 36 years with the love of her life, her husband Charles who passed away several years ago. Francine was a seamstress in her younger days working with Charles who designed and sold the clothing she sewed. Francine managed alone for many years after Charles passed. When she needed help to remain in her home, she was referred to and called Catholic Charities’ In-Home Support program.
A homemaker from the program was paired with Francine. Her homemaker visits once a week to help Francine with household chores. In addition to providing light housekeeping and help with laundry, her visits relieve the loneliness seniors feel when family and friends are gone. During her visits, the homemaker also observes and inquires about Francine’s wellbeing and will help her find needed services. Francine enjoys working with her homemaker and is grateful to Catholic Charities for helping her fulfill her wish to stay in her home where she is closest to her memories of her beloved Charles.
Learn more about our In-Home Support Services
OUTREACH & CASE MANAGEMENT
Life circumstances left Candi without a home. An independent and resourceful woman, she began looking for a shelter. Candi could find no openings at any of the local shelters and called our Milwaukee Catholic Charities’ office on a Friday afternoon looking for help. Our case manager took time to listen to Candi. With shelters filled, Candi and our case manager worked together to find a place for her to stay for the weekend. On Monday morning, our case manager called Candi to check on her and offer additional assistance. They talked about resources, options for long-term housing, and later found rent assistance help.
Shortly after, Candi found herself in an abusive relationship and turned to Catholic Charities again. Our case manager visited her regularly where she was receiving care. When Candi was ready to look for housing, Catholic Charities helped her get established in her new apartment. Now enjoying the safety and stability of home, Candi says that her case manager is always a resource, “She is my person, my angel. She’s been helping me ever since I came to Catholic Charities.”
Learn more about our Outreach and Case Management Services
Daniel’s smile is a reflection of his parent’s unending love. Both mom and dad have intellectual disabilities and have received regular home visits through our Supported Parenting Program since Daniel was just one year old. Sarah, our family support worker, provides in-home parenting education and assistance with community services for mom, dad, and Daniel who is on the Autism Spectrum. As Daniel has grown, Sarah has helped the family receive medical and dental services. When Daniel was ready for school, she attended meetings with mom, dad, and teachers to assist with individualized education plans for Daniel.
The Supported Parenting Program helps mom and dad be advocates for the services Daniel needs, and our staff is their partner in working with providers. When schools closed during the pandemic, Sarah helped the family navigate virtual learning. She was also there to help Daniel’s mom through her grieving for the loss of her father due to Covid-19. Daniel’s mom and dad have expressed so much appreciation for how our program has supported them through the years and helped them feel more confident and comfortable in the decisions they make for their child.
Learn more about Supported Parenting Services.
REFUGEE & IMMIGRATION SERVICES
Zubair’s dream of becoming a United States citizen motivated him to take action. When Zubair received a letter from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services notifying him of his citizenship test date, he didn’t know how to best prepare in the limited time given.
A Catholic Charities citizenship tutor guided Zubair through citizenship test preparations. She provided instruction through one-on-one support, YouTube videos, Q&A practice questions and more.
Zubair says that his tutor made him feel comfortable and confident, “Thank God, I passed my test and I’m now a citizen of the USA,” he said, “I am grateful for having a teacher and thankful for Catholic Charities to make our dreams come true to belong to a country. Thank you!”
Zubair passed his Citizenship test in November, 2021 and is now a proud citizen of the United States.
Learn more about our Refugee and Immigration Services.
HOARDING INTERVENTION + TREATMENT
Dorothy was on the verge of being evicted and homeless because of excessive clutter in her apartment. In July, she received a non-renewal notice from her landlord and reached out to Catholic Charities. After a string of bad luck and health issues, she developed a hoarding disorder, which created tension between her and her landlord after multiple failed inspections. Dorothy was not one to typically ask for help, but when she was facing homelessness and had nowhere else to turn, she turned to Catholic Charities. The hoarding intervention team moved quickly and set up a plan. Our Home Coach helped Dorothy de-clutter her apartment; our Behavioral Health Therapist helped her reflect on her hoarding and learn a new maintenance and organizational routine; and our Case Manager convinced Dorothy’s landlord to give her a short grace period on her lease. Within a couple months, Dorothy’s apartment was back up to code and she passed her inspection. She was rewarded for her hard work with a new year-long lease!
Learn more about our Hoarding Intervention & Treatment Services