Neighbor to Neighbor Program offers opportunities



The Neighbor to Neighbor Program offered by Catholic Charities strengthens families and the community. The goal of this faith-based, life-skills-education program is to help participants move away from financial dependence on social-service agencies and toward self-sufficiency.

Participants focus on goal-setting in the areas of finance, faith, health and community. Upon the successful completion of the Neighbor to Neighbor program, participants earn a voucher toward their rent, utilities or other appropriate expense that will move the person forward to help achieve their goals.

Hundreds of people have participated in the program over the years, and we have seen firsthand the impact it can have. When Josh (not his real name) contacted Catholic Charities, he was facing several financial challenges. He had large amounts of medical and credit-card debt. He was living on a friend’s couch, and his possessions were being stored by a local church. His part-time job was not enough to support his needs. As Josh participated in the Neighbor to Neighbor program, he set goals to move forward. He developed a budget and became more confident that he could become financially stable. After a couple months, Josh obtained a full-time job to provide him additional income. He developed payment plans and made progress in paying off his debt. He even saved enough to sign a lease for an apartment. Through his successful completion of the Neighbor to Neighbor program, Josh not only gained skills and knowledge, but he also received a stipend toward a bill that was holding him back. Josh now has hope for the future.

Catholic Charities currently offers the Neighbor to Neighbor program in Vanderburgh County and is planning to expand the program to at least three additional counties in the Diocese during the next two years. To accomplish this, we are looking for volunteers who are interested in working with Catholic Charities staff members to be trained as facilitators. Volunteers need to possess a desire to serve their communities and a willingness to work with participants as they develop goals in the areas of finance, social, health and faith. The Neighbor to Neighbor curriculum helps participants move beyond current negative behaviors by replacing them with productive, healthy behaviors. By engaging volunteers as facilitators, the program is truly neighbors helping neighbors. The program is a journey of strengthening families and building relationships. For both facilitators and participants, Neighbor to Neighbor encourages personal growth and spiritual connection.

Time commitment for volunteers of the Neighbor to Neighbor program is approximately five hours a week when the program is in session. Catholic Charities staff members will provide training, instruction and support to volunteers.  The average Neighbor to Neighbor class has 10-15 participants, and 3-4 facilitators.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer or attending the Neighbor to Neighbor program, please call Catholic Charities at 812-423-5456. Also, if you want to learn more about starting a Neighbor to Neighbor program at your parish or in your community, please contact Denise at 812-428-5456.

With your support, we can work together to serve the needs of our Diocese and communities.