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Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington

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For immediate release

2 April 2007

Catholic Charities of
the Diocese of Arlington

200 N. Glebe Rd., suite 506

Arlington, VA 22203

Renovation Work Begins at Catholic Charities’ Christ House

Left photo: Bishop Paul S. Loverde helps mark the start of renovation work at Catholic Charities’ Christ House shelter in Alexandria. Joining him for the event are (left to right) Stephen Luteran, executive director; Cassandra Lee, case worker; and Sally O’Dwyer, associate director for community services (photo by Ray Pisney).

Funded with a $500,000 contribution from the Diocese of Arlington’s Rooted in Faith—Forward in Hope Capital Campaign, the renovation of Catholic Charities’ Christ House shelter in Alexandria began April 2. Bishop Paul S. Loverde inaugurated the project along with Catholic Charities’ Executive Director Stephen Luteran, Associate Director of Community Services Sally O’Dwyer, and Case Worker Cassandra Lee.
Renovation work on the Christ House building will include installation of new heating and air conditioning systems with energy-efficient controls, new electrical wiring, and new fire-protection and alarm systems. Bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen areas, client lounges, and staff offices will be refurbished and remodeled.
During the inaugural ceremony launching the project, Bishop Loverde blessed the building and prayed for the welfare of the workers who will be involved in the repair work. He prayed that no harm come to the laborers, who will be giving Christ House a thorough make-over for serving the hungry and the homeless during the years ahead.
“We are most pleased that the Rooted in Faith—Forward in Hope Capital Campaign has been able to serve as the catalyst for a total makeover of Christ House,” Bishop Loverde said. “I am sure that the entire Catholic community in the diocese is looking forward to a rededication of the structure, programs, and services of Christ House later this year.”
Taking guests on a short tour of the building that had been stripped of its former furnishings, Luteran said, “After the renovations, we will once again have a year-round emergency shelter for the homeless. This is a service we had to suspend three years ago, and we are most anxious to get the program back into operation, especially during our 60th anniversary year. We will be offering the homeless clean, safe accommodations as well as assistance such as counseling and job placement.”
Luteran added, “We are very grateful to the diocese’s capital campaign for the funds to rehabilitate, repair, and refurbish the Christ House structure. But, we have many needs that were never intended to be covered by the capital campaign, and we now must raise funds for these requirements, such as refurnishing the bedrooms, acquiring many new supplies, and maintaining support of on-going Christ House services. We have developed a number of memorial and sponsorship opportunities for donors, and anyone interested in contributing can call us at the Christ House donor-line at 703-841-3836.”
Christ House has been a vital part of the northern Virginia community since it was opened in 1973. It has become one of the cornerstones of Catholic Charities and, since its establishment, has made substantial contributions to the northern Virginia community. During the past 33.5 years, more than 100,000 individuals have come to Christ House for shelter, food, clothing, and other assistance. It has served more than 1,106,000 meals to the hungry and has received more than $4 million in donated food commodities. The Thrift Shop has received more than $800,000 in donated clothing for the needy. More than 24,000 volunteers have generously given of their time and talent to assist at Christ House.
During the renovation work, Christ House staff has relocated to the nearby Thrift Shop and continues to oversee the Emergency Assistance program and the preparation of the evening meal, assisted by volunteers and using facilities kindly made available by the Washington Street United Methodist Church.
For more information, call 703-841-3830 or go to

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