NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Catholic Charities of New York has been on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

Friday, it not only provided resources to needy families, but also some hope.

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It’s not an unfamiliar sight during the pandemic: Catholic Charities provided food boxes and clothing to the more than 500 residents from the Betances Houses in the Bronx.

“We thank God for that… they opened up so we can get food and clothes and stuff like that. We won’t be hungry, so that’s good for us,” said Bronx resident Virdell Hampton.


But this time, there were also job resources.

“If they need a little bit of help in terms of job training, writing a resume, interviewing skills, we’re going to help them to be competitive for, unfortunately, the fewer jobs that are now available,” said Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, the director of Catholic Charities.

Maryam Aifa, 17, is taking advantage of the opportunity.

“My dad lost his job. He’s not able to work. So my mom has to work day and night shift so we can pay our bills,” she said.

Not to mention Maryam and her sister are headed to college.

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“In case I get a job I will be able to help my mom pay for our tuition too,” she said.

Catholic Charities has partnered with an artificial intelligence company that has access to 10,000 open positions. Applicants use their cell phones to scan a QR code and answer questions about their experiences and credentials. The company uses keywords to match the applicant to job openings, and if you need more training, applicants can get that too.

“It then prompts you to sign up to take classes for free online so you can get qualified for that job,” said Marion Boteju, Catholic Charities chief of staff.

Beyond the financial gains, it’s about restoring dignity and hope in a place where the pandemic has shown no mercy.

Those without technology can fill out paper applications and the staff from Catholic Charities will follow up.

To find out more about Catholic Charities, CLICK HERE.

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