Our History

Our beginnings

The year was 1933. The Great Depression was at its height. The Dust Bowl ravaged the nation's midsection.  Banks tottered on the verge of collapse. Tens of thousands of Americans left their homes in search of work.

Amid this troubled backdrop, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops spoke out. They issued a compelling mandate to serve the needs of those who suffered. From this call to action, Catholic Social Services of Arizona was born.

Archbishop Gercke established our first office in Phoenix in September, 1933. We expanded to Tucson in 1936. Our mission was to provide food, clothing, and counseling to those in need.

Our growth

For more than 80 years, we have responded to the needs of the suffering – and we have grown and changed as our community’s needs have changed.

Read about some of our milestones [+]

1946: The Eucharistic Missionaries of St. Dominic from New Orleans found Pio Decimo in Tucson.

1958: Catholic Social Services of Arizona becomes Catholic Charities of Arizona.

1961: St. Elizabeth of Hungary Clinic is founded in Tucson. It’s re-named St. Elizabeth’s Health Center in 2007. In Yuma, Catholic Social Services Yuma is established.  It becomes CCS in Western Arizona in 1977.

1971: Catholic Charities of Arizona becomes Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona.

1973: Catholic Social Services of Bisbee is founded. It becomes Catholic Community Services of Cochise County in 1977 and then CCS in Southeastern Arizona in 2001.

1977: Pio Decimo Center becomes part of CCS.

1982: The Division of Disabled Persons is created. It’s re-named Southwest Community Services in 2005.

2005: The Catholic Community Services Foundation is established to build philanthropic support for the charitable work of CCS.

2014: St. Elizabeth’s Health Center becomes an independent, nonprofit organization.

CCS Today

Today, CCS is a vibrant family of five agencies and three ministries. We have over 500 employees and thousands of dedicated volunteers and donors.

With the support of our clients, staff, volunteers, and donors, CCS touches nearly 100,000 lives each year. We provide help and hope for people of all ages, races, and faiths.

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