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KSL Cares: Profile of Catholic Community Services

By Carole Mikita | Posted - May 13th, 2011 @ 9:43pm



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SALT LAKE CITY — Catholic Community Services is the fifth and final charity to be featured in the KSL Cares campaign.

Since the late 1970s, refugees from all over the world have come to Utah and one of the reasons is CCS.

"We have resettled more than 15,000 refugees who live in the state of Utah coming through Catholic Community Services," said Kathryn Brussard, director of development for CCS.

"When they come here they don't have any family members," Brussard said, "so CCS pretty much guides them to make sure they get all the resources and all the help that they need so they can successfully resettle and become self-sufficient into our community."

In 2007, nine members of the Bashari family arrived from the African nation of Burundi. Ethnic violence first drove them to a refugee camp in neighboring Tanzania.

"We get food, we get water but people keep killing each other," said Barundi refugee Jeneseri Bazuwaremye.

The family's father, Bashire Nigarura, works full time. "We are doing very well. Now we speak English very much," he said.

The mother works for Deseret Industries and takes English classes. Their children are now good students.

"My favorite class is ... I love English class because it helps me," said Fainesi Ibaze.

The Bashire family received Catholic Community Services' Unsung Hero Award in 2009.

"I would like to thank CCS, because I think they're awesome," said Jeneseri.

Aden Batar, the Director of Refugee Resettlement, says CSS helps people like the Bashire's by providing them "housing, provide them furnishings for their home, provide them rental assistance, utility assistance, food, job services, and also intensive case management."

CCS and the LDS Church are partners and there are corporate donors and many individuals who give. But funding is always an issue.

"We do not have a direct pipeline to Rome, unfortunately for our funding," Brussard said, "so we depend on all these partnerships throughout the community to really keep us going."

CCS began operating in 1945, and today there are 11 programs for Utahns in need.

From the headquarters, employees and volunteers reach out in various ways to assist individuals and families who are trying to rise out of poverty.

CCS is a nonprofit and has partnerships with other faiths, corporations and depends on donations from throughout the community to operate these services.

"We serve everyone. We're not Catholics serving Catholics, we are a lot of people serving a lot of people," Brussard said. "It's all of us coming together as a community who understand and just want to help those in need."

If you would like to see CCS receive a $25,000 donation, go to KSL TV's Facebook page and cast your vote for them, or for any of the other four charities that are listed as part of the KSL Cares campaign.

E-mail: cmikita@ksl.com

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