WASHINGTON — For nearly 50 years, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) has been the official domestic anti-poverty program of the Catholic bishops in the United States. Raising public awareness about poverty, its causes, and working to break the cycle in the U.S., the annual collection is coordinated nationally by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to be held in parishes the weekend of November 23-24.
More than 38 million people live in poverty in the United States. This collection assists community leaders who work to expand access to affordable housing, health care, and education. The collection also supports the development of worker-owned businesses, and advocates for changes to structures that keep people in poverty.
In his statement for this year’s commemoration of the World Day of the Poor, Pope Francis said, “The situation of the poor obliges us not to keep our distance from the body of the Lord, who suffers in them. Instead, we are called to touch his flesh and to be personally committed in offering a service that is an authentic form of evangelization.”
“The Catholic Campaign for Human Development draws us close to our brothers and sisters in Christ and works to address the root causes of poverty in the United States,” said Bishop David P. Talley of Memphis and chairman of the CCHD Subcommittee of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development. “In doing so, we uphold the dignity of those who live in poverty and empower them through dialogue and solidarity.”
This national collection is the primary source of funding for CCHD’s community and economic development grants, as well as its education programs aimed at raising awareness of poverty and fostering hope in communities across the nation. Twenty-five percent of funds collected remain in each diocese to support local anti-poverty projects. Facts about poverty and success stories from groups supported through the annual CCHD collection may be found by visiting povertyusa.org.