September 2013 - Sheltering the Homeless
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A mother with triplets, a veteran, a child in school - the face of homelessness is not always what we expect. The unfortunate truth is that almost half of all Americans are one emergency away from financial crisis. Without a stable place to call home, recovering from that crisis can be nearly impossible.

That is why our transitional housing programs are so important. Homeless mothers and their children in our Shepherd's House program have a safe place to stay while they learn the skills they need to return to self-sufficiency. Homeless men and women at Pathways to Care are given a safe place to heal from illness and injury while they strive towards greater stability. 

I invite you to learn more about Catholic Charities of Central Florida's transitional housing programs and to join our mission to change the lives of people in our community. One simple way to do that is by attending the Soup Bowl Supper on October 11 (more information below). Together we can make a difference. 

Executive Director
Lecette Shillingford does not like to dwell on the time of her life before she came to Shepherd’s House.­­­­ Homeless and caring for her two year old triplets, her journey has not been an easy one. She had inconsistent income and nowhere to live when she found Shepherd’s House through an online search. Desperate for help and shelter for her children, she immediately picked up the phone and did not stop calling until she was accepted as a resident in the program.

Once she entered Shepherd’s House Shillingford continued to face challenges, but she was determined that nothing would prevent her from achieving her goals. When her car broke down and the repairs were too costly to pay without dipping into her savings, she and her young triplets took the bus daily. When she struggled to find steady employment, she did not give up hope until she found a full time position in her chosen field.

Read more about Lecette's journey here.
Homeless men and women need our help. In Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties, there are over 4,000 homeless persons on any given night – a 50% increase over the last five years. The residents at Pathways to Care, a program of Catholic Charities of Central Florida, are homeless men and women who are also suffering from illness or injury. 

Pathways to Care is a respite center offering a safe place to heal. recuperative care, and support services to this vulnerable population -  but we can't do it alone.

On October 11 at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic in Church in Altamonte Springs the inaugural Soup Bowl Supper will be held to benefit Pathways to Care and the homeless in our community.

For $92, the cost to care for one resident for a 24 hour period, guests will enjoy gourmet soups from local chefs, musical entertainment, and live and silent auctions. Morning show host, Ellis B. Feaster from Z 88.3 FM radio will emcee the evening along with an enlightening keynote address from Scott Maxwell with the Orlando Sentinel. Guests will also hear from Dawn Zinger, administrator at Pathways to Care, and two former residents of the program.

Won't you join us in making a difference? Visit to learn more and purchase tickets. 
Looking for a way to serve your community? See below for a list of current volunteer opportunities:

Clinic Intake Workers

Greet patients at our free medical clinics and assist them with the needed forms.
Volunteers needed  at Lazarus Clinic in Wildwood on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Spanish is helpful  but not required.

Semoran Food Pantry

Catholic Charities food pantry on Semoran Blvd. in Orlando is looking for volunteers to stock, sort, and bag donations Monday - Friday between the hours of 12:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Childcare Volunteers

Shepherd's House and Family Stability Initiative programs are seeking child care volunteers to play games and supervise children while their mothers attend life skill trainings, job interviews, and counseling sessions.

In Orlando on Monday nights from 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. and flexible hours during the day Monday – Saturday. 

If you are interested in these or other volunteers opportunities, contact Anita Capetillo at
407-658-1818 x 2020.

Click here for more information on volunteering. 
October 26 - Masquerade Ball at Lake Receptions in Mount Dora - You are invited to the 3rd annual Masquerade Ball to benefit St. Luke’s Free Medical and Dental Clinic, a partnership of Catholic Charities of Central Florida, St. Mary of the Lakes and St. Patrick Catholic Churches.

The Phantom of the Opera  themed ball will include:

• Performances by local dancers, actors, and singers
•An elegant, seated dinner 
•Elaborate staging and décor 
• Bid for a Cause auction to raise funds for specific clinic needs

Click here to purchase tickets to the Masquerade Ball.
St. Luke's Medical and Dental Clinic serves more than 1,500 residents of Lake County and surrounding areas yearly.Our volunteer medical professionals give of their time to provide free services and referrals to the uninsured working poor. To learn more about St. Luke's Clinic, visit:
September is Hunger Action Month. Help keep our pantries full by holding a food drive for a local Catholic Charities Food Pantry. Follow Catholic Charities of Central Florida on Facebook and Twitter to receive daily hunger related facts, reflections, and actions for the month of September. 
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