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Advocacy & Policy

Not everyone who needs help has the ability to ask, which is why giving a voice to the voiceless has been a key part of our mission from the very start. It’s our hope that through strategic advocacy — informed by the work of our member agencies — the stories of those most affected by poverty can become the very tools we use to eradicate it.

Our Work

We help governments better understand poverty’s impact on the American economy and family, and educate policymakers on the ways people in need are being served by their local agencies. We also work to engage those most affected by governmental decisions in sharing their experiences, so those experiences can ultimately help improve our policies.

Stay Informed, Show Your Support, Make An Impact

Get the weekly updates we send to our advocates while Congress is in session, and we’ll let you know when there’s an opportunity for your voice to make a difference.

Advocacy Efforts

Ending poverty isn’t just a question of money — a family’s well-being should be evaluated by factors more holistic than merely its gross monthly income. That’s why we focus our advocacy efforts on the five areas that we believe must be addressed to sustainably end poverty, with special concern for the most vulnerable groups in our society.

How You Can Help

Participation in our political process is a privilege and responsibility made even more precious by the realization that your voice could be the only one speaking for millions without a voice of their own.

We rely on supporters like you to help amplify our positions and to carry our messages to policymakers and other influencers by signing petitions, writing to elected officials, and learning more about our issues.

Tell Your Senators to Support the Second Chance Act

Each year over 650,000 people struggle to re-enter society after their release from prisons, jails and detention centers. Help by voicing your support for the Second Chance Act.

Stay Informed, Show Your Support, Make An Impact

Get the weekly updates we send to our advocates while Congress is in session, and we’ll let you know when there’s an opportunity for your voice to make a difference.

Tell Congress to Support Evidence-Based Policymaking

We need to know what works to end poverty. Urge the Senate to pass S.991, the Evidence-Based Policymaking Commission Act of 2015.

Submit Your Comments to the National Commission on Hunger

Lend your voice to help shape the National Commission on Hunger's report to Congress on how to effectively target USDA programs and reduce need through innovative approaches.

Advocacy Principles

Our advocacy work is grounded in Catholic Social Teaching, particularly in the principles that Catholic Charities USA has adopted as a guide for reforming America’s social safety net. In all our work, we support religious liberty protections that enable faith-based organizations to operate in accordance with their faith.

The principles of Catholic Social Teaching at the center of our policy work:

  1. Human Dignity: Each person is made in the image of God and has inherent dignity from conception to natural death.

  2. Common Good: Society works best when decisions are made with an eye toward what benefits everyone, not just a few.

  3. Solidarity with the Poor: The most poor and vulnerable persons and families have the first claim on our personal and social resources.

  4. Subsidiarity: Decisions should be made at the lowest possible level and involve all who will be affected.

Catholic Charities USA’s Principles for Effective Poverty Reduction Policy:

  1. Results-Driven: We are committed to measuring outcomes, not outputs. By incorporating evaluation and measurability into the framework of our program designs, we ensure government funds are being invested in what works.

  2. Market-Based: Building engagement with government and the corporate sector lets social service agencies pursue new funding streams through capital markets, expanded tax credits, and the monetization of their social impact.

  3. Systems-Changing: CCUSA seeks reform that will cut organizational red tape, break down bureaucratic silos, update measurements, and deliver support at the earliest, most cost effective moments of need.