With a vibrant community of donors, partners, volunteers, staff, board members, and more – Catholic Charities Dallas is working to restore hope in the lives of our clients everyday.

As Christ told the apostles in Matthew 25:40 –

“To the extent that you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of mine, you did it for me”

We have seen a drastic increase of needs from our brothers and sisters through the resounding effects of unemployment, inaccessibility to education, and the inability to pay for housing. These effects and more have shown us the importance of coming together to support those in need. We are incredibly grateful for every individual and organization that has believed in and contributed to both our longstanding and innovative endeavors. As you read this newsletter, we hope the work of Catholic Charities’ mission resonates with you and encourages you to join us in addressing the root causes of poverty, hunger, and homelessness. Whether giving time, talent, or treasure – our community comes together to help all those in need.

St Jude Center – Park Central

180 rooms to serve the homeless

St. Jude Park Central opens – housing, feeding, and serving temporary clients

According to the Metropolitan Dallas Homeless Alliance 2020 Point-in-Time count, over 4,000 homeless individuals reside in Dallas County alone. At the same time, availability and costs of rental or owned property in the Metroplex continue to rise creating tens of thousands of housing-insecure individuals and families. Covid and other economic pressures are exacerbating the problems.

St Jude Center – Park Central will serve as a much-needed respite during this pandemic and economic storm for today and in years to come. Intensive case management addresses the needs of the individual through access to mental and physical health resources and vocational services. SJC-Park Central will welcome, stabilize, and improve the journey of all to strengthen self-sufficiency and human thriving.

St. Jude Park Central is in the first phase of our three-phase impact. (See more about phases 2 & 3). Phase I provides quarantine space for those suffering from COVID-19 as well as inclement weather relief for those living on the street. When a guest arrives, they are greeted by a staff member with love and compassion and cared for during their stay. Each resident is provided three meals a day and personalized case management.


St Jude Center – Park Central will house and serve as many as 180+ residents at any given time, improving their lives while opening up much needed shelter space for homeless individuals.

COVID-19 residents at St. Jude’s since December 2020:

  • St. Jude Park Central has housed 124 guests who were homeless or housing-insecure due to testing positive or being exposed to COVID-19
  • Over 200 guests have stayed at St. Jude Park Central due to inclement weather (below 29 degrees)
  • 12,443 meals have been served to our residents.
  • 7,600 wellness check-ins have occurred
  • 72 guests have tested negative and are healthy. They have exited to live with family or at a shelter to continue working on their long-term housing stability.

Location – 635 @ HWY 75

Noting the highly successful collaborations at the original St. Jude Center, our partners (City Square, Metrocare, and VASH) will help us provide for the health and welfare of residents during Phase II. Medical, mental health, and vocational services will be provided to COVID-19 impacted residents.

CCD is in the process of contacting local businesses to invite their participation and help for the future residents and the broader homeless community.

Our mobile approach to education

Together We’re Better Completes its First Session With Exceptional Results

Together We’re Better is a 16-week mobile parenting and early learning program designed to promote nurturing and caring parents focused on the early education of their children. This program will remove obstacles for families by providing basic needs such as food and diapers and connect them to necessary resources and services.

Four goals were set in place for the Together We’re Better program: Build stronger families; reduce and prevent child abuse and neglect; build early literacy skills in young children; and provide early screenings and interventions for young children.

The mission of Education Services at Catholic Charities Dallas addresses four significant community concerns: 20% of Dallas adults cannot read or write; 50% of five-year-olds are not ready for kindergarten, 60% of 3rd graders are not reading at grade level; and 10% of Dallas county children under five are victims of abuse or neglect.

The 16-week journey is filled with many steps to ensure that families who gravely need this program will receive all of its benefits. To qualify, parents must be of low-income with children under the age of five, living in an underserved zip code. The first step is for the family to fill out an intake and needs assessment, giving the team a better understanding of the family’s circumstance. The second step involves a parenting series, followed by early literacy activities for the children. The third step involves screenings and referrals for developmental delays. Step four focuses on providing basic needs such as diapers and food. The final step is case management for those most at risk.

At the end of the 16 weeks, the Together We’re Better team introduces the family to the next high-quality program equipped to work with both the parent and child’s needs, leading them toward continued success.

Impact – Sep – Dec 2020

clients served
early learning kits and books provided
parenting classes
high stress family crisis interventions

First Wave Graduation

The first wave of Together We’re Better students participated in a small graduation ceremony – Fall 2020

Bishop Edward J. Burns blessing the new food pantry

Expanding our food distribution

New Mobile Community Pantry and Box Truck Ready to Serve

On Monday December 14th, 2020, Catholic Charities Dallas debuted its newest mobile community pantry and food delivery truck. Bishop Edward J. Burns (Bishop of the Diocese of Dallas) graciously blessed the new trucks and reminded the community about Jesus’s call and concern to feed the poor “with one heart and one mind.”

The new mobile community pantry, which will be the third one in CCD’s fleet, can hold up to 12,000 pounds of food and serve over 300 families per day. CCD launched its first two mobile community pantries one year ago, significantly increasing the numbers of families served and meals provided. The refrigerated box truck will allow CCD to coordinate quick-turn food drops throughout its nine-county service area and will also reduce the burden on North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) to deliver food to various CCD locations.

Following the onset of COVID-19, CCD ramped up its food distribution by shifting regular food pantries to contactless, drive-through operations and deploying its mobile pantries to over 60 sites per month. Since mid-March, CCD has distributed over 6 million meals to over 151,000 families in need. With the onset of the pandemic, food distribution increased over 250% compared to pre-COVID-19 levels.

Mr. and Mrs. Joe Popolo, Jr. made a generous commitment to CCD in support of the organization’s growing food programs. “Hunger is a pervasive issue in North Texas that has a lasting ripple effect – on children’s and adult’s physical health, on children’s ability to learn and thrive, even on crime,” said Mr. Popolo. “We are proud to support CCD’s work to expand its reach into even more high-need neighborhoods to meet the increasing demand for healthy, fresh food.”

NTFB recently awarded CCD with $365,254 in financial and in-kind support. The food bank has been a significant driver in CCD’s ability to scale up operations, providing funding for the capital purchase of one of two initial mobile food pantries in 2019 and serving as an instrumental funding and programmatic partner in the Jan Pruitt Community Pantry in Lancaster. “We are now NTFB’s largest ‘retail’ distributor in North Texas,” said Dave Woodyard, CEO of Catholic Charities. “We couldn’t do our work without them, and we are proud to be teammates in the fight against hunger.”

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Angelica Trujillo with her two sons

Struggling to fight COVID19 and pay the bills

Overcoming Hardship with CCD

Angelica studied special education and graduated as a technician in speech therapy with a degree in Psychology. Angelica put these skills to work by opening a clinic to help young people in need.

In mid-2020 her entire family was exposed to COVID-19. She and her husband were unable to attend work under quarantine restrictions, suffering significant financial setbacks.

After hearing about Catholic Charities Dallas, Angelica sought our assistance and received help with food, diapers, and education services. With CCD’s English classes and educational services, Angelica found compassion and help for her family. She says she feels that her sons were cared for and valued at CCD.

Angelica is so thankful for CCD’s warm and welcoming environment, where her sons feel safe, cared for, and happy.

Interested in supporting the mission of Catholic Charities?

Your gift directly supports the needs of North Texans by providing critical resources such as: food, shelter, education, legal advocacy, financial stability, and more!

We are answering God’s call to serve all those in need.

On the Horizon

As a large scale social service agency, Catholic Charities is leading new and exciting projects to bring greater impact to the most vulnerable populations of our community. Stay tuned for more information on these upcoming programs and events:

  • Programs
    • St. Jude Park Central – Phase II rollout
    • Expanded food distributions – Double the capacity of Hunger Services fleet and, in turn, the capacity to provide food
    • Together We’re Better – 2nd wave of 16-week classes
  • Spring Events
    • Tulipalooza – March 19th – 28th
    • Time for Giving – Annual CCD Campaign happening May 2021
    • Angels of Charity Luncheon – May 18th