Orthodox Christian individuals and families are helped to address and resolve, as best as possible, the problems they face in a manner that maintains their privacy, dignity, self-determination, and independence. The National Philoptochos’ Department of Social Services assists Orthodox Christian Individuals and Families who are in the United States, regardless of their citizenship or immigration status, who are experiencing human service and/or financial challenges.
- Non-Orthodox persons who seek our help are provided information about and referrals to local resources.
- We are referred cases from a variety of sources: Priests and Hierarchs, fellow parishioners, family members, neighbors, friends, local organizations, hospitals, funeral homes, medical examiners, service providers and the person him/herself.
We make every effort to ensure that all who are involved in the Philoptochos Social Services process respect the privacy of those seeking our help by keeping client information confidential.
Who Provides Services: A New York State Licensed Master’s Level Bi-lingual Social Worker (the State in which Philoptochos is incorporated) provides confidential, culturally sensitive, and evidence-based services.
Who Reviews / Oversees Social Services:
- All proposed financial assistance grants are reviewed and must be approved by the two Co-Chairs of the Social Services Committee and subsequently by the Philoptochos officers who sign all checks: National President and Treasurer, or their designees.
- Referrals to local and broader services
Philoptochos cannot be the answer to all problems nor can we provide ongoing or unlimited help. Our role frequently entails assisting the person to apply for and accept help from other resources.
- For example: public /private benefits and entitlements; rent and/or utility subsidy programs; SNAP /Food Stamps; senior centers/ other senior services; food pantries; soup kitchens; transportation services; nonprofit and/or local/ county / state social service and advocacy organizations.
- If the person refuses or hesitates to accept such referrals, we try to find out why; for example,
- Are they embarrassed to apply for what they interpret as “welfare”?
- Do they have a limited command of the English language and cannot apply on their own?
- Is a single parent or sole caregiver unable to spend several hours at a government benefits office because (e.g.) they must pick up their children from school at a certain time?
Additional Services provided by Department of Social Services:
- Resource Development: In concert with the direct services outlined above, the Social Work office develops resources, fact sheets, linkages and collaborations with appropriate organizations and institutions to expand our reach and thus better serve our community.
- Presentations / Seminars: The Social Work Office organizes seminars, workshops and informational materials (e.g. Fact Sheets) on topics and issues relevant to needs brought before us. Many such materials are developed at the request of local Chapters and Metropolises.
To contact the National Philoptochos Social Services:
Paulette Geanacopoulos, LMSW
Director, Department of Social Work Services
126 East 37th Street
New York, NY 10016
Confidential Social Work Office Telephone: 212.977.7782
General Fax: 212.977.7784
If you are facing an emergency or crisis, please dial 911. If you need immediate assistance, please contact your local authorities.
- The mission of the Social Services Department of the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society, Inc. is to improve the quality of life of those in need in a way that maintains their dignity, self-determination and independence.
- The Social Services Department gives hope and rebuilds the lives of Orthodox Christians individuals and families in the United States, regardless of their immigration / citizenship status, whose lives are impacted by human service needs including but not limited to poverty and income inadequacies; health, mental health, substance use disorders; hunger and food insecurity; inadequate housing and homelessness; intimate partner violence, family and older adult services.
- Our work is conducted confidentially and within a faith-based and culturally sensitive context.