Outreach Programs

Jail & Prison Ministry

Promoting Restorative Justice

Offenders and ex-offenders can be some of the most vulnerable members of our society.  Current criminal justice systems do not assist individuals to overcome the social and psychological challenges of either incarceration, or positive reentry into family and community life. Individuals released from jail or prison often return to their communities with no employment, home, or support system. Through a vast network of volunteer mentors and support groups, Catholic Charities’ Jail & Prison Ministry program strives to prepare and support ex-offenders as they work toward positive re-entry into family and community life.  Mentors meet with offenders in prison or jail as well as after their release to provide the needed support to resist relapse into old habits and lifestyles.  The program helps ex-offenders establish positive relationships, experience healthy social activities, and connect with community resources that can aid in finding work, affordable housing, and meeting basic needs.

Jail and Prison Ministry program available throughout the Archdiocese, with Area Coordinators in Ames, Cedar Rapids, Dubuque (Program Headquarters), Marshalltown, Mason City, rural Northeast Iowa, and Waterloo.

Pathway Partners

Empowering Communities

Pathway Partners is a mentor-based community outreach program providing advocacy and support to at-risk populations that are identified by the community to be in particular need.  The program is designed to assist individuals and families move toward self-sufficiency. Trained Resource Advocates provide one-on-one mentorship, guidance and connection with community resources, helping clients to identify their strengths, define life priorities and set and achieve their personal goals.  Pathway Partners is currently being offered in the Cedar Rapids community with a focus on assistance for single parents.

Pathway Partners available in Cedar Rapids.

Refugee Resettlement

Strengthening Families

In partnership with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Catholic Charities helps refugee families from all over the world, who have suffered war, tyranny and persecution in their home countries, to relocate and begin the process of starting a new life in an Iowa community.  Each year, the U.S. government allows a predetermined number of refugees to resettle in the U.S.  Over the past decade, this has allowed for 70,000 – 91,000 refugees to enter the U.S. Ten agencies, including USCCB, contract with the U.S. State Department to facilitate the resettlements.  Upon entry into the United States, Catholic Charities assists the newcomers to secure housing, food and clothing, translation, medical and employment services and to assimilate to a new community and culture, aiding in their growth towards self-sufficiency. This process all takes place within 90 days.

Refugee Resettlement services available in throughout the Archdiocese with program headquarters in Cedar Rapids.

  • To learn more, and for volunteering opportunities, contact:
    Lori Williams
    , Program Director, L.Williams@dbqarch.org.

Immigration Outreach

Reducing Poverty

Certified Immigration staff provide services to help reunite families split by immigration, by assisting with adjustment of status and advocating on their behalf.  Catholic Charities provides assistance with preparing the paperwork for green card issuances, citizenship awards, and family and visitor visas.  Translation assistance for legal documents such as birth, marriage, and divorce certificates is also available.

Immigration Outreach available in Cedar Rapids, Dubuque and Waterloo. Consultation with community partners and parishes available throughout the Archdiocese.