Archdiocese of Washington Reorganizes Social Service Agencies into New Partnership

May 19, 2004

Four social service agencies of the Archdiocese of Washington are reorganizing into a single corporation with four divisions so they may better respond to the needs of the community through more integrated and comprehensive services.

Catholic Community Services (CCS) will be the parent corporation of Catholic Charities, Spanish Catholic Center, Anchor Mental Health and the Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Institute effective July 1, 2004. Together these agencies provide 120,000 people in the Washington metropolitan area with a wide range of services each year, including physical and mental health care, legal care, immigration, employment, counseling, shelter, education, adoption and foster care and services for the developmentally disabled.

Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, Archbishop of Washington, has named Edward Orzechowski, the president/CEO of Catholic Charities for the past 14 years, as the president/CEO of the new corporation. Reverend Donald Lippert, OFM Cap, executive director of the Spanish Catholic Center, will be Vice President for Mission and Kerry Smith, president/CEO of Anchor Mental Health, has been named Vice President for Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Services.

“We are committed to serving the poor and vulnerable in our community,” said Cardinal McCarrick in making the announcement, “and to ensure we are doing that as effectively as possible. The face of the person in need is constantly changing, and the needs are increasingly complex. Through this partnership, our organizations will be able to adapt more quickly to new needs, provide more holistic services and use resources more effectively. I want to thank the organizations’ presidents, boards of directors and staff for their commitment and service.”

The reorganization is expected to take about two years to complete. The names of the four divisions will remain, as will their unique missions and identities. A single corporate board will serve CCS. Advisory councils will provide input to the Board of Directors. Planning for the reorganization, underway since Fall 2003, has included input from the organizations’ leadership and staff.

“I welcome the challenge and opportunity of this new partnership. There are so many needs in our community. At the same time, government funding for human services is increasingly restricted so more people turn to non-profits. Our mission is to serve and it makes sense that we work together as closely as possible to ensure as many resources as possible are going to those in need,” Orzechowski said.

Catholic Charities, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, serves nearly 80,000 people annually at 27 different sites in the District of Columbia, suburban and southern Maryland. The Spanish Catholic Center, established in 1967, provides medical, dental, immigration, legal, education and social services to over 40,000 clients, primarily new Latino immigrants in Mt. Pleasant, Gaithersburg and Langley Park.

Anchor Mental Health, which is based in Northeast Washington, DC and has nine residential sites in the city, provides education, housing, employment assistance, counseling and other services for 850 District residents each day. The Kennedy Institute, also headquartered in Northeast Washington, provides a range of services for 600 people with developmental disabilities in Washington, DC and the Maryland suburbs daily. The outreach includes pre-school to adult education, counseling, residential assistance, employment support, community education and more.

Susan Gibbs
Office of Communications
[email protected]