Community Resource Spotlight

Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley – a mission to serve all!

This new section of our newsletter is designed to give in-depth information on a specific community agency and/or resource in the greater Dayton area.

For our first edition, we decided to highlight Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley (CSSMV). With our new office being located at the CSSMV building on Brown Street, we thought it would be fitting to highlight the agency that welcomed us with open arms. Caitlin Cipolla-McCulloch, Parish & Community Relations Manager, was gracious enough to spend some time with me talking about their services.

Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley was founded in Dayton in 1921 as a branch of the Bureau of Catholic Charities and Social Services of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. The office was established “to increase the effectiveness of the Catholic social services and coordinate the social work of Catholic Charities with other Dayton welfare offices.” In the early days, the agency worked mainly through small committees of volunteers on problems of emergency assistance, placement of children, Americanization, parish sewing bands, hospital visiting, and work with the aging, infirm, deaf and blind. Through the ‘20s and ‘30s, as more voluntary and tax-supported agencies developed, services became more specialized and Catholic Social Services focused more directly on family and children services. CSSMV became a separate diocesan agency in 1935, and its portfolio of programs and services has evolved over the years based on the changing needs of the community.

Today, the agency’s eight program categories are Early Childhood Education; Mobility Management; Poverty Alleviation Services; Pregnancy & Parenting Support; Professional Counseling; Refugee Resettlement; Senior Services; and Supervised Visitation.

Mission: Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley strengthens individuals and families in need through actions of faith, service and charity.

Laura J. Roesch, Chief Executive Director, for CSSMV quoted in the 2017 Impact Report “At Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley, we are mindful not only of God’s call to love our neighbors, but to make a real difference in their lives. To that end, we embrace their diversity; nourish their bodies, minds and souls; adjust to help them meet new challenges; and provide or connect them to the programs and services that will guide and inspire them.”

Common misconception: “Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley services are only for Catholics.”

Truth: Their core values say it all. Faith: Allow God’s love and teachings to inspire their work. Service: Seek to meet individual and family needs through professional practice and advocacy. Charity: Encourage others to put faith into action through sharing their time, talent and treasure. Another great quote from Laura Roesch, “We do not judge them based on the conditions they have inherited; their race, gender or religion; or the life choices they have made. Nor do we underestimate the depth of the issues they face, the resiliency of the challenges that test them and the barriers they must overcome to achieve transformation, success and stability.”

Who they serve: CSSMV is unique in that they have eight program areas that offer services to people of all ages, races, religions and backgrounds. Their call to action is to “love they neighbor” and they take that very seriously.

Service area: Auglaize, Champaign, Darke, Greene, Logan, Mercer, Miami, Montgomery, Preble and Shelby counties.

To provide a bit of insight into their programs we are highlighting a couple below that we also hope will help you serve your faith communities:

  • Mobility Management – In 2016, Catholic Social Services launched RideLink, a call center designed to link adults in Champaign, Darke, Logan, Miami, Preble and Shelby Counties with transportation options that meet their needs and their ability to pay. Made possible by a grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), RideLink has uncovered gaping holes in the transportation scenario and provided CSSMV with opportunities to help improve the system. Do you know someone in need of transportation to a doctor’s appointment or needs to pick up a prescription at the pharmacy but has no way to get there? RideLink can connect them to the transportation provider that best meets their needs (833) 289-0227. They are open from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm (excluding major holidays) and callers are encouraged to plan ahead as a 24-hour notice is required for most transportation providers.

    For more information on this service check out their Mobility Management pageOff Site Icon.
  • Senior Outreach – CSSMV has two outreach programs that serve older adults. One is called Senior Visitor Service. Trained volunteers are introduced to a socially isolated senior who lives alone or is homebound. With oversite and support from a social worker, the assigned Senior Visitor makes personal weekly visits and/or regular friendly phone calls. Visits typically last about two hours and can include assisting with small tasks such as watering plants, writing letters or simply spending time together playing cards, watching a movie or listening to music. This program is available to clients in Miami, Montgomery, Preble and Shelby counties.

    The second program is called The Caregiver Relief Service and it helps to serve family members who are caregivers. This program offers temporary in-home support to help spouses or family members who care for dependent elderly adults at home. A trained volunteer offers a regular three to four-hour respite period. Many caregivers use that time to relax, visit friends, go shopping, or do other activities to relieve stress. The trained volunteer can provide companionship, supervision, meal preparation and some personal care. This service is available to residents of Montgomery County.

    To find out more information on these two services, see their Senior-Outreach pageOff Site Icon.

These are only two of the resources available through CSSMV. To check out more on their early childhood education, poverty alleviation services, pregnancy & parenting support, professional counseling, and refugee resettlement visit their Programs & Services pageOff Site Icon.

Volunteer Opportunities: If this article has made you think about ways you can get involved in the work of CSSMV, Caitlin encourages you to email her directly or call her at (937) 223-7217(937) 223-7217 ext. 1141 about the many ways you can volunteer.

Article written by Michelle Randall, Program Assistant

Interview with Caitlin Cipolla-McCulloch, Parish & Community Relations Manager