What is AWARE?

Many of our views about people who are disadvantaged are developed through media reports and distant observations. These perspectives can be skewed and not include the myriad of causes and effects.

Catholic Charities is pleased to offer AWARE, an interactive, hands-on educational experience that helps to broaden people’s perspectives on those in need. AWARE exposes participants to realities that deepen their understanding and appreciation of the realities of life that affect our clients and guests.

Topics include exploring the challenges of people who are experiencing hunger and homelessness, people who are aging, families living in poverty, early childhood education, immigrants and individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

AWARE is ideal for:

  • Parish groups, including parish staff, parish councils, adult education, social justice committees, youth and other interested groups
  • Corporations seeking to learn about the community while fostering teamwork and community service
  • Individuals who seek to further understand social issues and take action
  • Leaders-in-training in the faith community
  • School-aged youth and college students

Participants can choose from the following Catholic Charities programs to learn about the realities of: 

People who are hungry and experiencing homelessness:
Weinberg Housing and Resource Center
Our Daily Bread Employment Center
My Sister’s Place Women’s Center

People who are aging:
Jenkins Senior Living Community

Early childhood education:
Head Start of Baltimore City

Esperanza Center

Individuals with intellectual disabilities:
Gallagher Services

State Legislative Advocacy:
Catholic Charities’ Advocacy Department

Q. How long are AWARE sessions?
A. AWARE sessions are typically 2-3 hours long, depending on the program.

Q. How many people are needed for each session?
A. Each session must have 5-8 participants. Some program sites can handle larger groups. Please contact us to see if that is an option for your group.

Q. Are there any age restrictions?
A. Generally, AWARE is for people aged 18 or older. However, it can be adapted for participants under age 18 with adult chaperones.

Q. How do I schedule an AWARE session for my group?
A. Have your group review the programs that offer AWARE and call us with a list of your top three choices. The Office of Parish Social Ministry will coordinate with you and our programs to find the best time to hold a session.

Sarah McIlvried
Social Ministry Coord., Parish Social Ministry
320 Cathedral Street
Baltimore, MD 21201

Contact Sarah McIlvried,, 667-600-2020

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