CSSW Receives Special Grant In Honor of One of Its Founding Members

(September 9, 2013) Ann Arbor, Michigan – Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County (CSSW) is pleased to announce a $10,000 grant from the Jim Harbaugh Foundation, which was established in 1994 to aid youth organizations in southeast Michigan. These funds will be used to support two children’s programs of Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County: the Father Patrick Jackson House Program (FPJH) and the Washtenaw Child Advocacy Center (WCAC).

“The Jim Harbaugh Foundation is proud to make this grant to what we believe to be the finest run social services agency in the area,” said Rob Pollock, treasurer of the Jim Harbaugh Foundation on behalf of President Jim Harbaugh and Board.

The Father Patrick Jackson House is a non-denominational residential program for pregnant and parenting adolescents and their children. Most FPJH residents are either homeless or estranged from their families. The program is committed to the health and well-being of teenage parents. The average age of a mother staying at FPJH is 16 years old; the average age of their child is only 9 months. While living at the house, each resident must work to complete her high school diploma or GED, as well as participate in independent living skills educational sessions.

The WCAC is a child-focused program providing coordinated investigation, treatment, management, and prosecution of child abuse cases at one site. In 2012 alone, 246 children, their siblings, and caregivers received services including crisis counseling and court advocacy. Sixty medical exams and 220 forensic interviews were also completed.  On average, a WCAC investigation costs $2,900 compared to $3,949 per case for a traditional sexual abuse inquiry.  The median age for a sexual abuse victim is nine years old.

“While we have been proud to support CSSW over the years, we are motivated to make this grant at this time to honor the life and service of Mr. John DeVine,” Rob Pollock said. “Not only was Mr. DeVine a personal mentor to many of us here at The Harbaugh Foundation, he was a founding donor to The Foundation and was instrumental in our getting established back in the early 1990’s.  We encourage everyone who is charitably inclined to honor this great man’s life by making a donation of their own to either CSSW or The Marnee and John DeVine Foundation of CSSW.”

CSSW President Larry Voight reiterated this sentiment. “John DeVine, who passed away earlier this year, was one of the founders of CSSW and committed to helping families in poverty, individuals seeking counseling, and vulnerable children and older adults looking to enhance their quality of life in our community. We are thrilled to have the support of the Jim Harbaugh Foundation to help continue two of our most unique programs in Mr. DeVine’s honor.”

Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County has been committed to improving the lives of the most vulnerable in our community since its founding in 1959. The Agency is dedicated to helping people live safe, meaningful, and independent lives in a more just community. Each year we serve thousands of community members of all ages, all faiths, and all cultures. CSSW also collaborates with other human service providers in the public and private sectors to tackle some of the most challenging issues facing our community.

To learn more about how you can make a donation, please contact 734.971.9781 ext. 313.