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The History of Catholic Charities Atlanta

I n 1953, Catholic Social Services of Atlanta opened as a referral center with two full-time employees. In 2006, Catholic Social Services became a member agency of the national umbrella organization, Catholic Charities USA, and changed its name to Catholic Charities Atlanta (CCA). CCA has been nationally accredited by the Council on Accreditation for over a decade to ensure we are following best practice standards for service delivery. Although the services we provide have changed and evolved over the years, the driving concept of offering a hand up to those in need, regardless of an individual’s background or religion, has remained the same. As we continue to innovate to ensure better outcomes for those we serve, we began shifting the focus of our programs to a case management model in 2018. We believe our services should not leave families where they are, but rather should empower them to become more independent. CCA now has 8 service areas and 20+ programs tailored to the needs of Metro Atlanta’s most vulnerable.

Through our holistic approach, we provide Counseling and Parenting Services, Educational Services, Financial Health Services, Food Security & Resource Services, Housing Services, Immigration Legal Services, Refugee Services, and Veteran Services.

75 Years of Service


Organized under the direction of the late Monsignor Cornelius Maloney, a Catholic social service program was created. The program was operated as a volunteer organization with two trained and dedicated social workers serving in their spare time.


Incorporated as Catholic Social Services of Metropolitan Atlanta.


Classified as a Family and Child Care Agency with casework status to offer services on a much larger scale. The agency began taking shape in line with services still offered today.


Welcomed the first wave of refugees that came into the U.S. under the care of the Catholic Church from Fidel Castro's regime in Cuba.


Opened the Village of St. Joseph to serve children with emotional problems and provide mental health counseling and support for at-risk youth.


Established the immigration and resettlement services program to respond to the fall of Saigon that resulted in 125K Vietnamese being relocated to the U.S. through the U.S. government and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). This provided legal representation as well as family reunification services for these families.


Moved headquarters to the Catholic Center in mid-town Atlanta and into the 1980's the Agency strengthened it's long-term commitment to providing services beyond metro Atlanta. (Moved to Smyrna in early 2000)


Opened an office in Athens, GA to provide individual and family counseling as well as referral services to Spanish-speaking clients. Crisis pregnancy and adoption services were initiated and grew to help women with pre-natal care, adoption placement, family life education and more. (The Athens Office closed in the 90s)


Opened Good Shepherd Place, a residence for low-income seniors and added Marian Manor to help the elderly. (Both are now closed)


Parish Social Ministry Program was established to help educate Parishioners and unite Parishes on subjects of advocacy and social action.


Began a disaster relief program with the spring tornados of that year. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans' coast and our service helped thousands of displaced residents with housing, food and job placement.


Earned accreditation with the Council on Accreditation (COA), an independent, not-for-profit International Accreditor.


Adopted the new name of Catholic Charities Atlanta to enhance it's identity and name recognition.


Created a veteran program to specifically address the unique needs of veterans in our community.


Served clients in-person and virtually throughout the COVID pandemic.