Catholic Social Services topic for Kiwanis


Staff report



SIDNEY — Elaine Schweller-Snyder, of Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley, spoke to the Kiwanis Club of Sidney during the latter’s Oct. 25 meeting.

Prior to her position with Catholic Social Services, Schweller-Snyder served as musical director at Lehman High School for 36 years. She is a graduate of Archbishop Alter High School in Kettering and the University of Dayton.

Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley is based in Dayton and was founded in 1921. Schweller-Snyder noted that she works in the northern counties office, which is in Sidney. The local office serves eight northern Miami Valley counties: Auglaize, Champaign, Darke, Logan, Mercer, Miami, Preble and Shelby. There are 85 Catholic churches north of Dayton. However, Schweller-Snyder was quick to point out that one does not need to be Catholic to receive services from CSSMV.

Its mission is to strengthen individuals and families through actions of faith, service and charity, she said.

“In keeping with the mission of CSSMV, our northern office is committed to care for the elderly and disabled in the communities we serve,” she added.

There are eight programs available; although, all may not be available in each county.

Parenting and Educational Outreach Services are workshops designed to strengthen teaching and parenting skills for dealing with a wide range of behaviors. CSSMV also collaborates with other agencies that focus on families and children.

Professional Counseling and Mental Health Services uses professional, licensed counselors as guides who provide direction to people in search of solutions to a wide range of situations and stressors. They will refer people to other agencies if the care needed is beyond their expertise.

“We are the administrative agency for Passport in six of the counties we serve,” Schweller-Snyder said in describing the senior services provided by CSSMV. “ In all other Ohio counties, Passport is administered by the Area Agency on Aging. Passport is a Medicaid-waiver program for individuals 60 years of age or older. Passport stands for Pre-Admission Screening System Providing Options and Resources Today. The goal of this program is to help people stay in their homes rather than move to a nursing home. There are currently 1,200 clients in the Passport program.”

The Supervised Visitations program has a location in Dayton called Erma’s House. It is named after Dayton author, Erma Bombeck. Erma’s House is a comfortable, homelike atmosphere that provides a safe, structured, neutral alternative to unsupervised visits. The Family Visitation Center offers a warm, friendly atmosphere where children of any age may visit with their noncustodial parents. Erma’s House was created to assist families that have difficulty interacting in a nonthreatening, appropriate manner. There are discussions about having a place similar to Erma’s House in Sidney.

The fifth program is Refugee Resettlement. While there is not a great need in the northern counties for this service, there is a need in larger communities like Dayton. This program helps refugees get started a building new lives.

Early Childhood Education is the sixth program, she said. Lincoln Academy offers quality, educationally-based child care to children of all religions, ethnic backgrounds and income levels.

The seventh program has to do with transportation. RideLink is a call center dedicated to connecting individuals to safe, reliable and affordable transportation to and from medical and nonmedical appointments in Champaign, Darke, Logan, Miami, Preble and Shelby counties.

The last program Schweller-Snyder discussed is Poverty Alleviation Services. The CSSMV Choice Food Pantry is the busiest food-distribution pantry in the Greater Dayton area. The pantry makes available emergency food assistance to those who reside in poor urban neighborhoods in west and northwest Dayton. Annually, the pantry assists more than 18,000 adults and children.

CSSMV is a multi-million dollar agency, she said. It gets its funding from government sources, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, the United Way, fundraisers and donations from businesses and individuals. It is affiliated with the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Catholic Charities USA, Ohio Department of Aging, Area Agency on Aging and various local United Way agencies.

Staff report