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To affirm the dignity of and respect for all human life by assisting individuals and families in need to achieve empowerment and self-sufficiency.
St. Elizabeth - Catholic Charities is a social service agency serving all of southern Indiana and metro Louisville. The two agencies officially merged into one agency in February 2003. Catholic Charities was originally formed in 1980. St. Elizabeth's came into being in 1989. Even prior to merging, both entities were already Catholic Charities agencies of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. As our name implies, St. Elizabeth - Catholic Charities, we remain a Catholic Charities agency of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and an affiliate of Catholic Charities USA, the largest private provider of human services in the United States.
We are proud to say that we serve all clients without regard for race, religion, gender, nationality, or ability to pay.
Initially, Catholic Charities was founded to provide subsidized counseling services for parishioners and parochial school students of the parishes, which make up the New Albany Deanery. Services have greatly expanded to meet the needs of the community.
In 1986, Catholic Charities was contacted by the State of Indiana for the purpose of providing Semi-Independent Living services to developmentally delayed persons. During Fiscal Year 1996-97, at the request of the State of Indiana, these services were extended into the area of Residential-Based Habilitation for individuals capable of progressing from a Group Home environment to a supervised, but more independent living environment.
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) became a part of the CC-SCI in 1987 when the agency was selected by the late Judge Henry Leist to administer the program for the Floyd Circuit Court. CASA was expanded in 1993 when Judge Robert Bennett awarded the contract for service Washington Circuit Court to Catholic Charities.
Pregnancy Plus-Line, a pro-life, crisis pregnancy program which was founded in 1973, requested Catholic Charities assume responsibility for the program in 1988 when it was in need of administrative and financial support. During Fiscal Year 1998-99, the services of this program were reviewed with the St. Elizabeth's Regional Maternity Center, and the decision was made to consolidate the support for crisis pregnancy into a single point of contact at St. Elizabeth's.
During 1997, in response to the urging of several child advocate groups, Catholic Charities initiated Supervised Visitation Services as a parental visitation alternative when the Courts have restricted visitation privileges to a supervised status. Under this program, supervisors are trained and contracted as needed for supervision of the parent/child visitation.
St. Elizabeth's opened the doors to its New Albany maternity home in May of 1989. Since that day we have been blessed with strong community support, which has allowed us to serve a greater number of people in each successive year.
St. Elizabeth's opened as a crisis pregnancy center, committed to serving pregnant teens and women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. The original St. Elizabeth's Home, donated by St. Mary's Church in New Albany, has been refurbished and is still being used as our eight-bed maternity home. Since opening its doors we have assisted in over 400 births with a healthy baby birth rate of 99.5%.
St. Elizabeth's quickly offered outreach support services as well as aftercare and adoption services to its residential program. Core to the mission of St. Elizabeth's has always been the necessity of education, the importance of making well-informed decisions, and the rich rewards of living a productive life based on Christian values.
In May 1996, St. Elizabeth's opened its Transitional Housing Facility. Our transitional, or aftercare, program is intended to help women get on their feet while they and their babies live in mini-apartments. We have the capacity to house seven mothers and their infants at any one time. After delivery, the young ladies are allowed to live in residence for up to two years with their children. During that time the young ladies will be working towards their high school diploma, GED, vocational or college degree. To help foster the notion that paying one's way is intrinsic to human dignity the aftercare residents are required to pay a fee for services, commensurate with their income, to live in the home.
We offer adoption services to our residents and outreach clients alike. We do not attempt to persuade the client one way or the other. We simply offer both parenting and adoption as equal options and allow the client to make her own informed decision. That's not to say we don't offer advice. The young ladies go through extensive sessions with highly qualified staff counselors so they can determine which choices are best for them now and what effect those choices may have on their future. Any prospective parents interested in adopting are encourage to look into the program.