Church ‘Covers’ Federal Tab

Around the country thousands of organizations were digging into reserves to keep Head Start programs open or provide nutrition and other services for children after the federal government shutdown on Oct. 1. In Kansas, shelters for homeless families and for battered women and children, a foster grandparent program and a “Marriage for Keeps” program for struggling families, run by Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Wichita, remain open for now, with the diocese picking up the costs. Johnny Young, director of Migration and Refugee Services for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said that federal contracts to help resettle refugees and provide other assistance to immigrants were held up by the government freeze. Work for those beneficiaries did not stop, however, said Young. Although there’s no money coming in, M.R.S. will use funds from the U.S.C.C.B. to continue to provide services, he said.

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