Pope Francis Tells When to Help the Homeless

Posted on March 9, 2017 by Alice Kenny  |  Share

Catholic Charities Puts This in Action


Here in New York City we pass homeless men, women and children begging every day and we wonder when and how to help.

Pope Francis makes it easy:

When? It is “always right,” Pope Francis says in his recent interview with an Italian monthly magazine

How?  “Looking them in the eyes and touching their hands.”


The bottom line, he says, is to treat everyone – homeless or housed, poor or rich, able or disabled – with equal compassion and equal dignity.

We know and act on this daily at Catholic Charities.  And we welcome you to join us as we celebrate our Centennial of putting this message into action.  For a century we have rebuilt lives day in and day out, always with compassion, always with dignity. 

  • Thanks to your help during our recent Feeding Our Neighbors campaign we raised enough money to provide one million additional meals for the hungry and homeless. 

Now, as we move forward into our Centennial, we pledge a deepened commitment to help and hope in the 21st Century.

As Pope Francis says, it’s always right to help the homeless, to look in their eyes and touch their hands.  So we are working one-on-one with the chronically homeless, the folks who resist traditional shelters, the hardest to help. Yet, more than anything, they, like all of us, need safe, warm, comfortable places to sleep. 

  • We're partnering with Bowery Residence Committee to provide formerly street homeless people with stable beds.  Our unique model, designed for the hardest to house, chronically homeless, provides a welcoming environment with fewer rules and barriers than a traditional homeless shelter.
  • Our success relies on our ability to pair Bowery Residence Committee’s long experience with the homeless with our holistic case management approach at Catholic Charities to provide stability and eventual permanent housing to these vulnerable individuals. 
  • We already opened a site for 35 chronically homeless adults at the former Holy Rosary convent in East Harlem.  And thanks to our success here, additional sites are under construction.

When is it best to help homeless people begging on the streets?


How should we help?

With compassion and dignity looking them in the eyes and touching their hands.

Join Catholic Charities as we follow Pope Francis’ advice on how to help the homeless.

Help us build on our 100-year legacy of services touching almost every human need.

Catholic Charities is responding to the needs of our neighbors during the 
COVID-19 pandemic.

For Help Call 888-744-7900