CCHD’s mission is to address the root causes of poverty in America through promotion and support of community-controlled, self-help organizations and through transformative education.
The CCHD philosophy emphasizes empowerment and participation for the poor. By helping the poor to participate in the decisions and actions that affect their lives, CCHD empowers them to move beyond poverty.
The National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB) established the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the Catholic Church's domestic anti-poverty program, in 1969 with two purposes. The first purpose was to raise funds to support "organized groups of white and minority poor to develop economic strength and political power." The second purpose was to "educate the People of God to a new knowledge of today's problems . . . that can lead to some new approaches that promote a greater sense of solidarity."