Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have to be Catholic to receive services?

No. Catholic Charities serves those in need regardless of background. More than 80% of those we serve annually are not Catholic.

Who does Catholic Charities serve?

Catholic Charities welcomes all who come to us with respect and unconditional love. Individuals and families who come to us in their time of need are provided with solutions to the struggles, barriers, and anxieties that cause instability in their circumstances.  

You will recognize our Catholic identity, not by who we serve, but by how we serve. We pride ourselves on welcoming and serving all regardless of religious affiliation — in fact about 80% of the people we serve annually are not Catholic. 

Our staff's mission is to make Catholic Charities a place where no one will ever come to us without leaving better and happier. This service mission, based on a quote by St. Teresa of Calcutta, depicts our commitment to always leave people better than when they first came through our doors by healing the hurt, mending the broken, befriending the lost, and loving the lonely.

Where does Catholic Charities serve?

Catholic Charities serves in six counties in southwestern Pennsylvania:  Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Greene, Lawrence, and Washington.

How long has Catholic Charities been serving in Pittsburgh?

Since 1910 we’ve served those who need basic necessities, such as food, shelter, clothing, and support to become more stable.

Who is responsible for governance and fiscal oversight at Catholic Charities?

As a non-profit, we are governed by a board of directors that is responsible for the governance and fiscal oversight of the agency. Our board comprises local lay leaders who serve up to two three-year terms.

Additionally, we benefit from the guidance of our member board that ensures we meet our mission in a manner that reflects the love of Christ and conduct our services within the parameters of Catholic teaching. Bishop David Zubik and area representative priests compose our member board.

What is the legal structure of Catholic Charities?

Catholic Charities is an incorporated nonprofit corporation with an IRS determination as a 501(c)(3) and we operate as a separate legal entity from the Diocese. We file tax returns, keep audited financial statements, and follow the Donor Bill of Rights, ensuring that all donations given to us are utilized as intended by the donor. While we own our downtown headquarters and rent nine spaces for service within six counties of southwestern Pennsylvania, we do not share properties or equipment with the Diocese. The agency’s 990-Form available for public review. Catholic Charities is parent to its subsidiary, the Catholic Charities Free Health Care Center and both are listed in the Official Catholic Directory.

Where does Catholic Charities get its funding and resources?

Catholic Charities’ annual budget is between $10 and $12 million annually. 43% of our revenue is raised by our Development Department, another 40% comes from services contracted by a government entity, and the remaining 17% comes from in-kind support, fees collected from a sliding scale formula, interest income, and diocesan support. Our funding sources include private donations, corporate support, foundation awards, government contracts, diocesan donation, and other miscellaneous income. 

Can you give me information on adoption?

Couples interested in adoption should go to for information on local adoption agencies.

If you were involved as a parent or a child adopted through Catholic Charities of Pittsburgh in Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Greene, Lawrence, or Washington counties, please email

How does Catholic Charities spend the funds entrusted to them?

Catholic Charities utilizes 83% of their funds for program services, 11% for administration, and 6% for fundraising.

What services does Catholic Charities provide?

Basic Needs Assistance Catholic Charities helps meet basic needs such as essential supplies and rental and utility assistance for residents in southwestern Pennsylvania who are living within 200% of the federal poverty guideline.
Counseling We offer creative solutions to trauma and counseling and therapy for those who cannot afford behavioral health care through private practice or within our health care systems.  We offer tele-therapy as well as in office sessions. Those without insurance or the means to pay full price to attend regular therapy sessions can see one of our credentialed therapists on a sliding scale. We also offer creative opportunities through music and art for those who struggle to express their fears and challenges as a first step for care.
Disaster Relief We provide disaster relief services for those who are referred to us by the Red Cross, United Way, the City of Pittsburgh, county governments, etc. After homes are condemned, flooded, or destroyed by fire, we combine resources and referrals to help those who have been affected by a disaster find longer term solutions.
Free Health Care Center We provide free medical and dental care through a Volunteer In Medicine (VIM) model for those whose income is within 250% of the federal poverty guideline. Services include primary medical care, primary dental care, ophthalmology, physical therapy, assistance accessing affordable medications, access to necessary testing, and much more.
Housing and Shelter Assistance Our services for those who are without shelter include providing residential shelter for families and individuals without homes (including veterans), assistance with rent and eviction avoidance, a daytime warming station for those who are left in the cold during the winter months, and case management services related to staying housed.
Pregnancy and Parenting Support We provide pregnancy and parenting support for single mothers, struggling families, refugee parents seeking to understand child-rearing in this culture, etc. This program offers supportive counseling, tangible goods, and multiple sessions in an expansive parenting curriculum.
Senior Services We provide care and support for the elderly. As the Area Agency on Aging in Lawrence County we provide individualized support services, protective services, daily meals, in-home care, recreational and social opportunities, a fitness center, a computer lab, and so much more. Throughout the agency we support seniors in need of basic necessities including residential care for older men without shelter, utility assistance, medication assistance, etc.