Meet Cathy Hassinger, Director of Community Services
Cathy is a lifelong Virginian – she grew up in Loudoun County when it was still considered the country, earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary, a masters from Marymount University and a masters from Loyola University (don’t worry, she was just a commuter student!). She is a parishioner of St. Michael in Annandale and has worked for Catholic Charities since August 2014.
How did you come to Catholic Charities?
I’ve always dreamed of working for the Church.
I spent seven years as the Executive Director of Bethany House of Northern Virginia, a faith-based non-profit that provides emergency shelter and supportive services to victims of domestic violence. However, as a life-long Catholic, I always had my eyes open for a role that would allow me to live out my Catholic faith in the workplace.
I appreciate our Catholic emphasis on serving the whole person with a compassionate model of care. Our clients are not just a case number – we really lean into Pope Francis’ call to truly encounter our brothers and sisters.
What exactly do you do as Director of Community Services?
I oversee seven of our main programs – Christ House Men’s Transformational Housing, St. Margaret of Cortona Family Transformational Housing, The St. Lucy Project, Emergency Assistance, Hogar Immigrant Services, which includes Legal and Education services, and Migration and Refugee Services.
I think my strength is in seeing the big picture and then breaking down the information. I like to look into practical ideas that can improve and strengthen our services.
What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
There is tremendous need in our community, but resources may be limited. It can be challenging trying to match those limited resources against the need. That is where creativity and community partnerships come in, and that makes my job both interesting and dynamic.
What is the best part of your job?
I love when I can spend an entire day at a program site and dig deeper into their daily activities. It reminds me of the seven years I spent as a CCDA volunteer teaching English as a Second Language. Seeing the depth of our client interaction reminds me that we are serving our neighbors – real people just like you and me.
What is one thing you want our blog readers to know?
I would encourage everyone to get involved! We cannot do this without the help of our community members.
We are committed to supporting our parishes, so it’s the perfect opportunity for parishioners to get involved. Churches are often first line responders to people in crisis. If we can help our churches and they can help us, our love and charity for the poor can only increase!