We completed a new strategic plan, which was used as the building blocks for a new marketing and branding campaign and case statement for the agency.
We hired a director at Our Lady of Guadalupe Center. Through partnerships with local agencies, our food pantry now offers wrap around services like ESL classes, health screenings, and nutrition classes to our growing Hispanic population.
Our Payee program began utilizing debit cards for their clients, which streamlined procedures--increasing efficiency, decreasing operational costs, and decreasing access to money time for clients.
We will explore opportunities to move Our Lady of Guadalupe Center into a larger space on the west side of Columbus. This will allow us to offer additional services to address the poverty barriers many are experiencing in the Hispanic community.
We will extend the reach and accessibility of our maternal counseling services to low-income families to help overcome the challenges of abuse, trauma, depression, addiction, and relationship issues--targeting specific at-risk neighborhoods.
We will grow the Friendly Visiting program to reduce depression, isolation, and loneliness among older home-bound adults, thus increasing overall happiness, health, and life expectancy.
Catholic Social Services (CSS) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that offers help to poor and vulnerable seniors, families, and individuals of all faiths and backgrounds reach their potential. Our programs serve people throughout central and southern Ohio, helping them overcome barriers at all stages in life. Our offices are located in Columbus, Newark, Portsmouth, and Zanesville. Catholic Social Services is an award-winning agency, accredited by the Council on Accreditation, which certifies that all operations and programs meet best practice standards for professional service. We are a member of Catholic Charities USA, a member agency of United Way of Central Ohio, and licensed by the Ohio Department of Mental Health.
At Catholic Social Services, our purpose is to help poor and vulnerable families and seniors reach their potential. We believe strongly that everyone has potential, but that not everyone has opportunities. Inspired by our God and the human spirit, we will work together with seniors and families to create opportunities and overcome the barriers that thwart their potential. The result is that families thrive and seniors live independently.
The downturn in the economy for the past few years has been very challenging for the nonprofit social service sector. Like most service agencies, we have seen an increase in the number of requests for help, but we have not been able to find additional resources and funding to meet those requests. With an active and committed board of directors and a positive working relationship with agency leadership, we have begun the work to again clarify our mission and vision. I am very proud of CSS for initiating the Pathways to Hope program that works with the survivors of domestic violence. This program is unique in central Ohio and is one of a few that offers long-term case management to help survivors establish and maintain a new start on life.
Rachel Lustig joined CSS as president and CEO after serving 10 years at Catholic Charities, USA (CCUSA) where she most recently held the position of senior vice president of mission and ministry and was responsible for directing efforts to build mission-inspired leadership at Catholic Charities agencies in order to build a more just and compassionate society.
Lustig began her career at CCUSA in 2003 as parish social ministry associate and served as the director of parish social ministry from 2004-09. In these roles, Lustig led efforts to engage the larger Catholic community in outreach and social justice. Prior to CCUSA, Lustig served as director of finances for Hogar Santa Cruz, an orphanage in Santiago, Chile.
She received her Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame and her Master of Public Administration from George Mason University.
Laura Campise has a BA from Saint Mary’s College, a MA from the University of Cincinnati and is a Licensed Social Worker and a Certified Fund Raising Executive. She spent 18 years working with child and adult victims of crime and abuse, and has a strong background in social services and social justice. For much of her social work career, she was involved in raising money for nonprofits.
Throughout her career, Laura has authored many grants. She has many years of experience in implementation, evaluation, and marketing of these projects. Laura is skilled in raising dollars for annual funds, capital campaigns, and major gifts, as well as working successfully with boards. Furthermore, she is well versed with managing fundraising events, donor databases, promoting donor stewardship, and creating annual reports.
Currently, Laura is a board member for Girls on the Run of Franklin County. From 2003-07, she was an Alumnae Board member at Saint Mary’s college.
Sabree Akinyele serves as the vice-president of programs for Catholic Social Services. She brings to this position over three decades of experience in the nonprofit arena of higher education and human services. Most recently, she served as the director of our daily bread employment center (ODBEC) for Catholic Charities in Baltimore, MD. There, she handled all functions and activities of the center with an emphasis on program development, financial and business operations of the program, strategic planning, and community relations. Sabree earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and urban studies from Villanova University and an MBA from Johns Hopkins University. She is also a 2008 Weinberg Fellow.
Nazree Gore received her bachelor's of accounting at DeVry University in Columbus, Ohio. Nazree is responsible for maintaining fiscal records in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, the preparation of financial reports, analysis of financial information, and maintaining strong internal controls in the fiscal department, which has an annual budget of $4 million. She has over 20 years of work experience that has been primarily with the nonprofit sector in the areas of both private and public accounting.
Nazree is responsible for implementing new systems that improve the operations of her department. She currently volunteers with her church and has volunteered in various capacities with her local Boy Scouts troop, Pickerington Local School District, Faith Mission, PCMA Food Pantry of Pickerington, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, and Fairfield County Board of Elections.
Licensed social workers provide ongoing, in-home needs assessment, care planning, and consultation to help vulnerable seniors maintain their independence. To reduce isolation and depression, trained adult volunteers offer peer companionship and homemaker assistance to elderly and disabled clients. Transportation is also available to qualifying seniors and veterans for medical appointments.
Individualized financial management is available for those who are unable to manage their own financial affairs due to a disability, or for those who just need help in effectively handling their fiscal matters. With client consent, as the named payee for the person's income, Payee Services accounts for all income and pays monthly bills on behalf of the client. Our services help people avoid getting behind or creating debt that cannot be resolved. Payee Services assists clients to better understand and meet their financial obligations and helps each individual establish a budget to manage monthly expenses.
Licensed staff, trained in a variety of therapies, help individuals, couples, and families address a wide range of life challenges, including relationship problems, anxiety, depression, grief, panic attacks, phobias, child abuse, sexual abuse, domestic violence, parent-child conflict, and issues related to life stages (infertility, post-abortion, and adult adoptee concerns). Counseling and education is also provided for those experiencing an unplanned pregnancy to help explore options and make life-affirming choices. Services available for pregnant and parenting teens include counseling and education regarding pregnancy, adoption, parent education, and support.
Pathways to Hope is a program in partnership with CHOICES that works with survivors of domestic violence to transition from emergency shelters into affordable housing and provides them and their children case management for up to 24 months.
Friendly Visiting is a community-based program that utilizes adults (minors must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian) to provide support and one-on-one assistance to isolated central Ohio seniors and disabled adults in need of companionship, to combat the negative effects of social isolation and depression. Friendly Visiting volunteers are matched with local seniors in an effort to help them remain independent in their own homes.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Center (OLGC) serves the needs central Ohio's growing Hispanic community by providing emergency food assistance, health screenings, nutritional information, housing, legal and financial referrals, and guidance in acquiring basic necessities. OLGC has set itself apart from other local food pantries by operating as a choice food pantry. Rather than being handed a pre-selected box of food, clients are given points, based on family size, to spend by selecting food items of their choice, much like they would in a grocery store. CSS' choice food pantry allows the clients to select the foods they need and know how to prepare. A weekly visit from a nutritionist shows our clients how to prepare new meal options with the fresh produce from that week. Furthermore, using a point system teaches the clients how to assess needs, prioritize, and budget, all necessary skills for managing a household.
As an organization, we strive to diversify our funding streams as a way to focus on program innovation and unmet needs consistent with our mission. Our organization is committed to providing necessary social services to the people of central and southern Ohio. We encourage our supporters to consider current needs and legacy gifts to ensure Catholic Social Services can be on the front-lines of caring for our poor and vulnerable neighbors now and in the future.
All portrait information is provided voluntarily by nonprofit organizations. An organization may decline to participate. At a minimum, information is updated annually--sometimes more frequently. Documents indicated as available by an organization are verified by Foundation staff. The financial section is completed by Foundation staff based on available documents for a three-year period.