Thursday, October 10, 2002

Good stuff Catholics used to do:

Long Island Catholic Charities ceases funding of program that serves hundreds of mentally disabled.

The program cost 1.1 million. The diocese is spending 800,000 to renovate a residence for the bishop.

Yeah.

Case managers in the program, who make $27,000 to $35,000 a year, were told Friday of the pending layoffs. They questioned why services they say serve so many needy people are being terminated in a county that has seen two of its three psychiatric hospitals shuttered in the past decade. Some workers wondered why the diocese couldn't find the money elsewhere to fund the program. Some even cited the $800,000 the church is spending to renovate a residence in Rockville Centre for Bishop William Murphy. "It's interesting that our deficit is about the same amount as what the church is spending on the kitchen appliances and Oriental rugs in the residence," said Kate Bishop, the program's coordinator. "It's paradoxical, isn't it? Our mission is to serve people who are marginalized and disenfranchised. For them to turn around, with no notice, and end the program, is horrible."

Yeah, I know. Separate accounts, separate sources of funding, and in the Catholic Charities case, a decline in state funding for the program is cited as a problem. But still...the juxtaposition is distressing, nonetheless.

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