Mission & History
As a ministry of the Roman Catholic Church, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Rockville Centre assists in serving the basic needs of the poor, troubled, weak, and oppressed and is committed to addressing the causes of injustice. We aim to organize and empower people to secure the participation of all in the life of the community.
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Rockville Centre began providing Care With Dignity. . . Life With Hope in 1957, soon after the diocese became an entity separate from the Diocese of Brooklyn. There were two Catholic Charities offices then providing mental health and other services. Programs grew to serve people struggling with alcoholism and provide residences for people with developmental disabilities. Our first residence for the developmentally disabled opened in Valley Stream in 1974, the first of 13 such residences. Regina Residence, the first shelter for single mothers on Long Island, opened in 1968 and added transitional apartments next door in 2009.
In the 1970s, Catholic Charities focused on developing collaborative ministries with local parishes to bring program services to more people at the community level. The first three parish social ministry programs were opened in 1976.
Agency ministries grew to include affordable housing and other services for seniors, HIV/AIDS ministry and housing, a residence for the mentally ill homeless, residential programs for children and teens with emotional disturbances, and others. Our housing department opened its first affordable senior housing complex in Selden in 1978 with 200 units. We currently operate 1,329 units of senior housing. Catholic Charities is the largest provider of affordable senior housing on Long Island.
Catholic Charities is now one of the major service providers of Long Island, with 629 employees, a budget of over $38 million, and 68 sites from Elmont to the East End. The agency served 63,904 people in 2013. Partnerships with 110 local parish social ministry programs make this level of service possible. Catholic Charities is in ongoing contact with parishes to identify needs and develop new ways of responding across Long Island.