“I was distraught, alone and could barely keep a roof over our heads,” she recalled.
A friend from work suggested she contact Catholic Charities and soon she had food and learned about other emergency assistance programs. She considers the helping hand a Godsend and cannot wait for the day when she can volunteer at the agency someday.
“Right now I have to focus on my two kids. Besides working, I’m also attending school to become a radiology technician. I have a long way to go, but I thank God for Catholic Charities being there in my time of need,” she said.
In 2015, Catholic Charities of Corpus Christi provided assistance to more than 136,000 clients. Last month, the agency moved to a new 20,000-square-foot location at 615 Oliver Court, located between Up River Road and Leopard, near IH-37. The new location is easily accessible using RTA bus routes 12 or 27.
Linda McKamie, executive director at Catholic Charities, said the new building helps keep all the programs and services at one convenient location for clients.
“This building is very important to the work we do because in the past we have had to rent space on a weekly basis for our Ministry and Life Enrichment Department to hold “Living and Learning” activities for our clients who are physically and/or mentally challenged and are bound to their wheelchairs and walkers,” she said. “But even with these types of mechanical crutches, they still love to dance, play games and have fun, as we all do.”
Catholic Charities also had a Community and Healthy Living Center on Port Avenue that was destroyed by heavy rains last year, due to poor drainage issues. Since losing that space, all the staff and programming moved to the main location and they had to find emergency donor locations in the community to continue programming services.
“Now we are pleased to offer our array of wrap around services all at our new location,” McKamie said.
The search for a new building endured for almost three years, she said. Local real estate professional Eugene Guernsey worked diligently to find a facility large enough, yet in close proximity to the previous Comanche Street location. Mike Lippincott gave many hours of his time to redesign and work with contractors to refurbish areas of the building and courtyard in order to make the facility comfortable for clients and to maximize use of the program and administrative spaces.
Once a new location was found, it would not have been possible without generous donations and support.
“First and foremost, the major infrastructure grant gifted to us by the John G. and Maria Stella Kenedy Memorial Foundation and the overwhelming support of the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Bishop (Michael) Mulvey and his wonderful leaders made this dream come true,” she said.
McKamie said the Catholic Charities board of directors helped the organization grow through the years by understanding the good work being provided in the community. “They shared our vision to continue to grow, help more people and open the doors to expanded services,” McKamie said.
She added that without faithful donors “who believe in our mission and integrity to serve those who are in most need of our understanding and services,” the move would not have been possible.
Services at Catholic Charities are wide-ranging, from emergency aid, rural outreach, representative payee programs, ministry and life enrichment for the disabled, immigration and refugee services, personal and housing counseling, as well as community wellness and education outreach through its Healthy Living Center.
“Anyone who takes a tour, meets our staff and learns about what we do are amazed that our services are so comprehensive in meeting most of the basic needs of persons who are struggling to make ends meet,” McKamie said.
“Our community health workers visit homes and support families raising young children. Our representative payee program manages social security and disability benefits for those who struggle to manage their funds. And there is so much more.
For me it is a blessing that I am humbled to witness each day the ‘laborers in the vineyard’ and thank almighty God for this gift,” she said.
For more information on Catholic Charities of Corpus Christi, visit their website at
or call (361) 884-0651.