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Testimony of the New York State Catholic Conference regarding the 2011-2012 Human Services Budget

Presented on Behalf of the Council of Catholic Charities Directors by

Earl Eichelberger
Director for Catholic Charities
New York State Catholic Conference

Albany, New York
February 16, 2011

 Introduction

Good morning!  My name is Earl Eichelberger and I serve as the Director for Catholic Charities at the New York State Catholic Conference and Executive Secretary to the New York State Council of Catholic Charities Directors.  The New York State Catholic Conference represents the Bishops of the eight dioceses of New York State in matters of public policy.  In the human service arena, the expertise, experience and advice of the Council of Catholic Charities Directors guides the Conference.  The Catholic Church is the largest non-profit provider of education, health care and human services in the state.  Catholic Charities programs exist in all eight dioceses to provide services to people in need.  Our Catholic tradition compels us to be active participants in the civic life of our community, to fashion a more just world that upholds the dignity of every individual and to serve those in need.  The needs of the poor and vulnerable must not be ignored.  A key measure of any society is how the most vulnerable members are cared for; those with the greatest need are due special attention.  There is a long history in New York State of government and not-for-profit providers collaborating to deliver services in a cost-effective manner.  This public/private partnership in support of the poor and vulnerable must be maintained.

I am here on behalf of a “special interest.”  I am unapologetically here to speak on behalf of the poor and vulnerable.  More