IMG_6454Orlando Sentinel Family Fund donates $40,000 to Catholic Charities of Central Florida

Seeking to provide hope to families in need, the Orlando Sentinel Family Fund, a McCormick Foundation fund donated $40,000 to support the Emergency Family Services Program at Catholic Charities of Central Florida.

The Emergency Family Services Program provides case management, financial and food assistance to families who are experiencing a crisis situation and are at risk of becoming homeless.

“We see an incredible amount of families each day who have fallen on tough times and come to Catholic Charities for support and guidance. These funds go directly to those families who are struggling to pay rent and utilities,” said Alan Rettig, Director of Preventing Homelessness at Catholic Charities.

Amanda, 50, and her husband Charles, 59, is one family who found hope thanks to a 2014 grant from the Orlando Sentinel Family Fund.

Charles supported his family while wife, Amanda, was a full time student. In January, Charles went to the hospital with a medical emergency that required multiple surgeries. Shortly after being released to a rehabilitation center, the couple learned that his insurance had been cancelled and he was forced to leave the facility and recover at home.

Unfortunately, Charles’s injuries prevented him from returning to work. Without insurance, income or savings to cover their mounting expenses, Amanda put school on hold and came to Catholic Charities of Central Florida for help where she met with an Emergency Family Services case manager.

“Amanda was waiting for social security disability when she came to us for help. The approval process can take anywhere from four to six months and she could not afford to live during this time without some form of financial support,” said Anita Capetillo, Emergency Family Services case manager at Catholic Charities who provided Amanda with financial assistance to help the couple remain in their home and pay bills. Amanda was also provided job referrals to find employment.

To learn more about programs that prevent homelessness through the ministry of Catholic Charities of Central Florida, visit

The mission of Catholic Charities of Central Florida is to provide vital social services to people in need regardless of their religious, social or economic background, to improve the lives of individuals, families and the community.