The world of today is rather unique in that it has been torn apart by wars, racism, homelessness, unemployment and various types of financial and economic crises that are affecting and crippling millions of people every day…
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The world of today is rather unique in that it has been torn apart by wars, racism, homelessness, unemployment and various types of financial and economic crises that are affecting and crippling millions of people every day. True to its motto ‘Faith in Action’ this organization has developed a number of housing schemes for the homeless which enables both the able bodied as well as physically and mentally challenged individuals to live and correlate with each other in peace and harmony, thereby enhancing the worth of the family unit. The housing schemes of the Catholic Charities of Fairfield are of various kinds from the Permanent Housing Diocese Program to the Scattered Site Housing Program to the Conger House and Thomas Merton Center Programs. The agency’s New Heights Program is directed towards the mentally challenged individuals in Bridgeport, CT and is dedicated towards making every individual achieve their maximum possible potential. It is a psycho-social program that offers pre-vocational and vocational training, educational training, computer knowhow and support groups, with peer and telephonic support as well. In order to be a part of this program, one must be diagnosed with a mental illness, be receiving service from the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and be residing within one of the areas served. The issue at hand appears to be that these services need to be expanded as the population of Bridgeport is increasing. However the problem is that the majority of the new population that has entered Bridgeport in recent years appears to be Hispanic. It is not difficult to see this when recent US census estimates show that the Hispanics are the single largest ethnic majority in the USA today. These facts had come to light in the last two elections and Obama and Bush had both tried to win a large part of the Hispanic vote as it affected their overall results. Most likely the problem has existed for a number of months now and came to light of the administration when mentally challenged Hispanic individuals and their caretakers applied for assistance and admission to the New Heights program. A check up from the Mayor’s Office or even a local real estate agent would have given an indication of the changing trend of residencies in the county. The problem is that the Catholic Charities of Fairfield had not planned for this demographic trend and have not included diversity within their program makeup. The consequences are that the services and the staff are all English speaking Americans and there is no one to assist the Hispanic speaking population. As we have noted, the majority of the newcomers have been from South and Central America and therefore the present setup is at a loss as to how to accommodate for this change in demographics. As a result the Spanish speaking individuals cannot be served and are placed on waiting lists. But sooner or later, a solution will have to be found as the problem is not going to go away. PROPOSED SOLUTIONS & THEIR IMPLEMENTATION Planning for change is a very important thing and should be practiced by individuals as well as organizations and their management staff. Even if the problem was not recognized in the past, it is not too late now and some swift and effective changes this agency can help accommodate the new Hispanic patients. The first thing would be to see if there is enough room and funds under the present programs. As Hispanics would also be attending
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Mental Health Campaigns
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