Catholic Charities' Support to Starr Commonwealth to Help Unaccompanied Migrant Children

Dear Friends,

As you may have heard over the last few months, Starr Commonwealth in Albion (Calhoun County) has opened its residential facility to provide housing for hundreds of unaccompanied migrant children in response to an urgent request from the U.S. government. In coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), Starr Commonwealth will provide temporary shelter for these children until they can be reunited with family or placed with sponsors.

Catholic Charities Diocese of Kalamazoo’s mission is “We are God’s hands providing housing, health, and hope to His children.” As the service arm of the Church, we are diligently working to understand how we can serve the influx of refugee children that have recently arrived at Starr Commonwealth. Catholic Charities is in communication with the leadership at Starr Commonwealth, and recently toured the facility, to better understand the needs of the children and how we as a Diocese can be of assistance. Thank you to the many in our community that have already reached out to find out how we can care for these children.

Starr Commonwealth is housing up to 240 children (ages 5-17 years) and the average stay is 38 days before a child is reunited with family or placed with a sponsor in Michigan. Currently, the Federal Government is providing bilingual caregivers with child development backgrounds, as well as food, clothing, education, and medical screening/care for all the children. The facilities will be needed for a minimum of one year, but no end date has been given. The Diocese of Kalamazoo is identifying a group of bilingual Priests, Deacons and Sisters that will support at Starr Commonwealth for the children’s spiritual and sacramental needs. Parish support by collecting rosaries, children’s Spanish language Bibles and Spanish language prayer cards has been identified as wanted and appreciated by the children.

How you can help:

Donate children’s Spanish language Bibles, Spanish language prayer cards and Rosaries by:

➢    Donating at www.ccdok.org, select the DONATE button, then select the drop-down arrow and click on Unaccompanied Children – Spiritual Materials.
➢    Purchase items at Newman’s bookstore at 340 E. Michigan Ave. Kalamazoo
https://newmansbookshoppe.com and deliver to Catholic Charities, 1819 Gull Road, Kalamazoo, MI 49048
➢    Handmade Rosaries and welcome cards are also appreciated and can be mailed or delivered Catholic Charities.

Pray! Please continue to keep these children and all those assisting them in your prayers.

Please join us in praying for these children and all children at the border and in other relocation centers across the US. “Whoever receives one child such as this in my names, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me.”  Mark 9:37 

God Bless, 

Deacon Don Bouchard, DO, MBA 
Executive Director, Catholic Charities Diocese of Kalamazoo 

Learn more about our programs and services below . . .

The Ark Services for Youth

The Ark Services for Youth

Serving youth and families in crisis in their communities or at our shelter

The Ark Services for Youth provides short-term crisis intervention and 24/7/365 shelter to runaway youth, homeless youth, and families in crisis. Each year, hundreds youth receive shelter and support services with the goal of family reunification. Thousands youth receive crisis intervention or community education services. Staff also provide in-home case management services to help families in crisis. Since 1977, the Ark Shelter has been a safe harbor and caring community for trafficked youth and LGBTQ youth. We have vision, healthcare, and counseling services on-site. Call us today to learn more.

Baraga Manor Apartments

Baraga Manor Apartments

Providing comfortable and safe living for seniors and the mobility impaired

Baraga Manor Apartments provides safe, comfortable, and affordable housing for seniors and mobility-impaired individuals through 48 HUD-subsidized single bedroom apartments. Baraga is located in Otsego, MI, just a short drive from Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids. All residents have access to a Service Coordinator who assists them in individual needs and the program has an active Residents Council with lots of opportunities to get involved. Call us at 269-694-9711 today to learn more.

Caring Network

Caring Network

Compassionate services for pregnant and parenting women and their families

Caring Network offers services for pregnant and parenting teens and women and their families. Clients have access to personalized case management, referrals, material support, parenting and pregnancy education classes, and limited transitional housing. Services are provided at our site (1441 South Westnedge) or in the home/community. We work with families to reduce infant mortality risk factors, ensure healthy pregnancies, encourage healthy child development, and build parenting skills. Our goal is to help women chose life for their baby, deliver a healthy baby, and assist parents providing a good life for both themselves and their child.

Bridges Mental Health Counseling

Bridges Mental Health Counseling

Mental health counseling services

Bridges provides free mental health counseling to individuals, youth, couples, and families with a variety of needs. Not having insurance or inability to pay will not exclude you from receiving services. Call us for more information or to schedule an appointment today!

Mission, Vision, and Purposes

The mission of Catholic Charities Diocese of Kalamazoo is "We are God's hands providing housing, health, and hope to His children."

We envision respect for human dignity and ever-increasing stability and independence for individuals, families, and communities we serve.

Catholic Charities Diocese of Kalamazoo has the following purposes:

Promote respect for the sanctity of human life;
Empower those who are weak or marginalized;
Offer compassionate care;
Provide service with the highest standard of care;
Link with other people, ministries, and organizations in collaborative efforts; and
Educate the community and advocate for systemic change.

These purposes form the acrostic "PEOPLE."

Office Locations

Office Locations

Administrative Office, Ark Youth Independent Living, Ark Outreach Services, and Home Heating Program (seasonal):

  • 1819 Gull Road, Kalamazoo, MI 49048

The Ark Shelter:
  • 990 West Kilgore, Kalamazoo, MI 49008

Van Domelen Center (Caring Network and Bridges Programs):
  • 1441 South Westnedge Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49008

Baraga Manor Apartments:
  • 301 Washington Street, Otsego, MI 49078