Catholic Charities of Odessa


To Provide Immediate Assistance and Educate to Empower for Long-Term Self-Sufficiency

“Christ has no body on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which Christ’s compassion for the world is to look out; yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good; and yours are the hands with which He is to bless us now.”Saint Teresa of Avila

A humble beginning…

Catholic Charities of Odessa was founded in 1982 and opened its doors with only two full time staff members. Catholic Charities began serving the community of Odessa with adoption services in 1982, with the support and sponsorship of the Diocese of San Angelo. The agency is located in Odessa, TX in Ector County, approximately 400 miles from the nearest metropolitan area.

In 1988, sponsorship of the agency was transferred to the Catholic Churches of Odessa and later that year, under the direction of a local governing board, the agency was incorporated as Catholic Charities Community Services Odessa, Inc., and obtained a 501(c)3 non-profit status. In 1988, with two full time employees, an emergency services program was included to provide individuals and families, with little or no income, assistance with food, medicine, and utility assistance. An in-house thrift shop was added a year later.

Catholic Charities was instrumental in bringing FEMA Emergency Food and Shelter Program into Ector County and has received and managed substantial allocations of Emergency Food and Shelter monies for twenty consecutive years. In 1990, Catholic Charities contracted with the State of Texas to manage Oil Overcharge and General Revenue funds through the ENTERP Program and provided services to individuals and families for ten years. This program ended due to lack of funding from the state legislature. Catholic Charities also served as a Third Party Provider for the State of Texas Chronically Ill and Disabled Children’s Services beginning in 1989 and continued to provide services until the program was restructured in 1999.

Agency records have been audited by the FEMA National Office, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, and the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services with results showing an error rate of 0%. In addition, a yearly audit is performed by a certified public accountant.

In July of 2001, Catholic Charities became a member agency of the United Way of Odessa. Funding for a full-time Program Coordinator for the learning center is possible through the funds received from United Way.

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    Over the years, Catholic Charities has experienced steady growth and has expanded its services to include a GED literacy program. In July 2006, the agency agreed to house the local community ABE and ESL literacy program to prevent termination of services to their clientele. Emergency services have also expanded to provide help with dental extractions, emergency shelter, school supplies and other services as needed and funds available. We also assist with clothing, household items, and furniture through the thrift store. Through the years, the number of clients has steadily increased. Currently, with a staff of 12 employees, Catholic Charities continues to serve Christ by serving those most in need in our community. As a means to leverage limited resources, Catholic Charities partners with many other community based, faith based, and government organizations to serve the most vulnerable. Catholic Charities assists over 75,000 individuals annually.