Good Shepherd, Catholic Charities Fort Worth fill needs through new northeast campus
COLLEYVILLE — Catholic Charities Fort Worth President and CEO Christopher Plumlee billed the grand opening of the Good Shepherd Catholic Outreach Center & CCFW Northeast Campus a momentous occasion.
“This is the day the Lord has made,” Plumlee said. “Let us rejoice and be glad in it. I’m excited to show you what you can expect out of our anchor site here in the northeast. For five years, CCFW and Good Shepherd Catholic Community have worked together to realize this amazing dream. It’s been a mutual goal born out of opportunity and a passion to end poverty.”
About 60 attended the Sept. 30 ribbon cutting event and tour of the new center at 6125 Colleyville Blvd.
Such a center may at first blush seem incongruous in upscale Colleyville.
“There’s actually a lot of need,” CCFW Board Chair and Good Shepherd parishioner Debra McNamara said. “Out of this campus we serve several zip codes: Watauga, Colleyville, Grapevine and other areas, and there’s actually a lot of working poor even within these more affluent communities.”
Through the partnership between Good Shepherd Church and CCFW, the center serves as home to Good Shepherd’s outreach ministries and CCFW’s transportation services and ChristCare case management services. About 20 staff and 22 volunteers will be based at the center.
“The big thing is our transportation hub for this area,” CCFW Communications Manager Alyse Chung said. “There are many here, in Southlake and surrounding areas, who utilize one of DFW’s low-cost transportation services, so there’s huge need for that here.
“The other big thing is ChristCare, which is basically like case management that we typically do out of parishes,” Chung continued. “Things such as help with rent, utilities, and other services.”
CCFW is also Tarrant County’s second largest transportation provider.
To that point, Plumlee highlighted the 22 fleet vehicles on site at the Colleyville campus.
“Nearly 40 Good Shepherd volunteer drivers work with supervisors and dispatchers on site to mobilize people who would otherwise not make it to critical [medical] appointments or be able to maintain employment,” Plumlee said. “We look forward to establishing a permanent transportation hub in this much neglected area of public transit.”
Plumlee spoke too of the facility’s call center and overall holistic approach to long-term case management.
“To help us enable those in need to achieve their bigger, brighter, and more hopeful future,” Plumlee said. “And that all starts with a single phone call for assistance.”
Chung and McNamara spoke of the combined strengths and talents Good Shepherd and CCFW bring to the partnership and the benefits of the new, more visible, location.
“We started five, six years ago at the parish but later bought this building,” McNamara said. “A building that’s going to allow us to have more visibility within the community and better reach and help those in need.”
Father Michael Higgins, TOR, of Good Shepherd credited the vision of Father Richard Eldredge, TOR, who passed away in 2019, with making the center a reality.
It’s a vision supported by Christ’s commands to love God first and then love neighbor as self, Fr. Higgins, the pastor of the Colleyville parish, said.
“In other words, not just love them from afar, but get involved in their lives,” Fr. Higgins said. “It took a long time to get here, but it was based on a vision of having loved and worshiped God and putting that love and worship into concrete practice with our brothers and sisters in need.”
Plumlee called upon those present to support the center through prayer, donations, and volunteerism and spoke of the vision of each organization to help end poverty one family at a time.
“While things may look a little different as we get off the ground because of the continued variants of COVID-19, know that we are full steam ahead and we will remain maniacally focused and committed to changing the face of poverty here in the northeast part of our diocese,” Plumlee said. “We are gratified and profoundly blessed to have you on this exciting journey with us.”