CHARLESTON—Neighborhood House was chosen to participate in a pilot program that will enable them to keep track of all their clients and the services they use.
Nikki Grimball, director of the peninsula outreach, said the program provides photo identification with a bar code on the back for every client that comes in the door. The client then presents the bar code ID for every service he uses, whether it’s financial assistance, the soup kitchen, clothes closet or even the porch library.
“It shows where the greatest needs are, the most services used, plus areas where we need to outsource,” Grimball said.
The primary purpose is to compile data into an easily accessible format that can be used to apply for funding and grants, said Chloe Garrison, with Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach, the parent organization for Neighborhood House.
The Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy founded Neighborhood House in 1915. For a while, it operated under the diocesan office of social ministry, but in 2005 it returned to the sponsorship of Our Lady of Mercy.
Garrison said the main outreach on Johns Island is part of the Charity Tracker system, but does not use the identification cards. Neighborhood House joined the bar code pilot program in October to help them keep track of more than 20 services available to those in need. The outreach aids a variety of clientele, from homeless people to workers eating at the soup kitchen to make ends meet. Grimball said they average 120 clients a day for hot lunches.
They also offer education courses for those trying to get ahead, and various enrichment classes for children and senior citizens.
Garrison said more than 280 clients have received bar code IDs so far and the intake process is ongoing.
In addition to helping the outreach keep track of their numbers, Grimball said it also benefits the clients by providing photo identification, which can be difficult for them to obtain. He explained that receiving a picture ID usually requires a person to have a fixed address, and most of the population at Neighborhood House are transients, moving from place to place as their finances dictate.
Another plus is being able to link to other social service agencies with Charity Tracker. That way, if a client needs to be referred elsewhere, the agency will only have to scan the bar code ID and have instant access to all the information.
“We’re trying to make it so their lives are a little less on the edge,” Grimball said.
The following is Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone’s calendar for December:
Dec. 2—9:30 a.m., Secretariat meeting, Charleston; 12:05 p.m., Mass, Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Charleston
Dec. 3—11 a.m., Mass and luncheon, Roper St. Francis Healthcare, Charleston
Dec. 5—10 a.m., Mass, Canterbury House, Charleston
Dec. 7—11 a.m., Mass, St. John Church, North Charleston
Dec. 8—11:30 a.m., Mass and luncheon, Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy Motherhouse; 5:30 p.m., Mass, St. Mary of the Annunciation Church, Charleston
Dec. 10—12:05 p.m., Mass, Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Charleston
Dec. 11—10:30 a.m., Priest Personnel Board meeting, Charleston
Dec. 12—10 a.m., Food Basket Mass, Bishop England High School, Daniel Island
Dec. 13—Noon; Black Catholic Heritage celebration, St. Anthony Church, Florence
Dec. 14—11:15 a.m., Mass, Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Charleston; 4 p.m., Diocesan Volunteer Christmas party, Charleston
Dec. 19—3 p.m., Diocesan Employee Christmas party, Charleston
Dec. 24—Mass, FCI, Bennettsville; 11:30 p.m., Mass, Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Charleston
Dec. 30—Bishop Guglielmone’s birthday
Kristin Anderson and Kayla Bennett exchanged vows today outside the Charleston County Courthouse, becoming the first same-sex couple to marry in South Carolina.
They were among about 11 other couples to receive marriage licenses from Judge Irvin Condon's office by noon of Nov. 19, including the very first one of the morning to Colleen Condon and Nichols Bleckley, who sued in federal court for the right to marry.
Even as licenses were issued, the state moved to halt the proceedings.
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson immediately filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court asking for a stay on gay marriages in the state until the high court can issue a ruling.
Also, because of continued legal proceedings, other courts are holding off on marriage licenses.
Berkeley County Court will issue licenses after noon on Thursday, the date set by Federal Appeals Judge Richard Gergel, who ruled on Nov. 12 that the state's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional but also granted a stay until Nov. 20.
The Charleston court began issuing marriage licenses ahead of that date based on two other rulings that came down on Nov. 18. In the first, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to put Judge Gergel's order on hold. The second came from U.S. District Judge Michelle Childs, who ruled in Columbia that South Carolina must recognize gay marriages from other states.
Together, the rulings have led some attorneys to state that same-sex marriage licenses may be issued unless the Supreme Court intervenes, while others urge caution pending a final decision.
A quick decision from the high court was requested by Wilson. Until that time, Greenville County Probate Court said it will not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
According to news reports, Probate Judge Deborah Faulkner said as long as the case remains in the courts, there is a legal impediment preventing gay marriages.
The issue has some people questioning whether or not their churches will be required to allow same-sex marriages.
Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone said court decisions have no bearing on the Catholic Church.
"Our Catholic faith upholds the dignity of every human person, including persons with same-sex attraction," the bishop said in a statement. "Regardless of any civil court ruling, the Catholic Church teaches and will continue to teach that marriage is a sacramental union between one man and one woman which bonds them for life. This teaching is not a judgment about persons who experience same-sex attraction, but a statement about how the Church has always understood the nature of marriage itself.”
Holy Spirit art show
JOHNS ISLAND—Holy Spirit Church will host a display of Nativity creches, statues and pictures on Nov. 28 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Nov. 29 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Nov. 30 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the parish center, 3871 Betsy Kerrison Parkway. Free.
BE oyster roast, auction
DANIEL ISLAND—Bishop England High School Triple B Booster Club will hold an oyster roast and silent auction Nov. 29 at 6:30 p.m. at the school, with college football on outdoor screens. Tickets: $30, available from school office and Triple B members. Details: www.behs.com or Lewis Moore, (843) 901-3315.
Party for Baby Jesus
CHARLESTON—The Daughters of St. Paul will hold their Party for Baby Jesus for children on Dec. 6 from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Pauline Books & Media, 243 King St. Includes pictures with Baby Jesus with costumes provided, music, activities, and more. Call (843) 577-0175.
BLUFFTON—St. Gregory the Great Church, 333 Fording Island Road, will host “A Night of Love”, an all-night adoration, on Dec. 5 beginning with Mass of the Sacred Heart, at 9 p.m., processions, rosaries, songs, hourly intentions, and Divine Mercy Chaplet. Closing is Dec. 6 with Mass at 5 a.m. Call Peggy Kraus, (843) 788-9798 or Buck Grim, (843) 705-7534.
Christmas yard sale
SAINT HELENA ISLAND—The Franciscan Center will hold its Christmas yard sale on Dec. 6, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Items include Christmas decorations, designer clothing, housewares, décor, toys, furniture, collectibles, bedding, jewelry, electronics, books and gift items. The center is located off State Route 21 at 85 Mattis Road.
Adoration and benediction
COLUMBIA—St. Peter Church will have adoration with exposition of the Blessed Sacrament beginning Dec. 3 on each Wednesday of Advent. Exposition starts at noon, and benediction is at 5:45 p.m. followed by soup and sandwiches. Details: www.visitstpeters.org or call the office at (803) 779-0036.
Prayer service and tree lighting
LAKE WYLIE—Knights of Columbus Council 14475 will celebrate Light up for Christ on Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. at All Saints Church, located at 530 S.C. 274. Prayers offered by Father Ed McDevitt, pastor, joined by Pastor Gayle Montgomery of the River Hills Community Church. Featuring messages from Grand Knight Rick Engel, plus Brother John Kummer will speak on “A Christmas Surprise,” followed by the tree lighting. Kay Lewis and the All Saints Choir will sing seasonal hymns. Bring non-perishable food items for the Clover Area Assistance Center.
Single, Single Again
Carmelites formation classes
MURRELLS INLET—The Catholic Daughters of the Americas Court 2356 will sell Christmas buttons stating “It’s O.K. to say Merry Christmas to me!” that are available in St. Michael Church office and gift shop, 542 Cypress Ave. They meet Nov. 24 at 7 p.m. in the parish center.
Black Catholic Heritage fete
Advent prayer healing service
TRAVELERS REST—An Advent Evening Prayer Healing Service will be held at the Monastery of St. Clare on Dec. 7 with adoration at 4 p.m. and the service at 4:30 p.m. Details: www.poorclaresc.com or Sister Nancy Shively (864) 834-8015.
GREENVILLE—St. Joseph’s Catholic School will hold two middle school Christmas concerts. The band, strings, and dance ensembles will perform on Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. in the J.L. Mann High School auditorium and the Middle School Choral Ensemble will perform on Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. in the Mauldin Cultural Center. Free. Details: www.sjcatholicschool.org.
Lessons and Carols
SPARTANBURG—St. Paul the Apostle Church choir will perform Lessons and Carols on Dec. 14 at 5 p.m. The church is located at 290 East Main St.
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- November 28 2014 - November 30 2014 Holy Spirit art show
- November 28 2014 - December 06 2014 Mepkin Creche Festival
- November 29 2014 BE oyster roast, auction
- December 01 2014 - December 30 2014 Secular Carmelites
- December 02 2014 Prayer service and tree lighting
- December 03 2014 - December 24 2014 Adoration and benediction
- December 05 2014 - December 06 2014 Single, Single Again