Soddy-Daisy outreach ministry receives $15,000 grant

The St. Vincent de Paul Outreach Ministry of Soddy-Daisy’s Holy Spirit Catholic Church just received $15,000, and now it’s ready to give it away.

Outreach ministry coordinator Cathy Kalinowski said she applied for the $15,000 St. Mary’s Legacy Foundation grant, given by the Diocese of Knoxville, last fall. She received the money in December and said she has already put some of it to use in the community.

“Here’s the stipulation: [The grant money] must be used for food and help with rent and mortgages, particularly people on the verge of eviction,” Kalinowski said. “We’ve already helped one person with their rent.”

Starting in February, families that need to bolster an empty pantry at home can go to the church on the third Tuesday of each month from 10 a.m. to noon to receive nonperishables. Kalinowski said any families interested in coming on those days should call ahead so ministry volunteers can prepare enough food boxes.

“We’re seeing a greater need and there is no organization out here in this area to help with housing supplements,” she said.

Any such housing supplements are given directly to a landlord or company expecting payment, said Kalinowski, and the supplements typically don’t cover the entire payment, though it depends on the situation.

The grant is good for one year, from Jan. 1, 2014-Jan. 1, 2015. If the St. Vincent de Paul Outreach Ministry does not use all of the $15,000, the rest stays with the grant foundation.

But Kalinowski said she intends to put all of it into the local community.

“We’re very excited about it; we have volunteers already,” she said. “We’ve not been able to do rents at all before. It’s a huge step in keeping people in their homes.

“In the past we’ve been able to help with food on a limited basis. Now we’re being proactive.”