Entries by josephshome

Joseph’s Journey: Mary’s Home Welcomes First Residents

Mary's Home welcomes first residents

The latest issue of Joseph’s Journey, the biannual newsletter of Joseph’s Home, features an article about Mary's Home welcoming its first residents. With the first resident welcomed in late March, Mary’s Home is now providing a nurturing, caring place to recuperate for women experiencing both homelessness and acute medical conditions.

Below is the text from the cover story. Read the complete Joseph’s Journey newsletter here.

Mary’s Home Welcomes Its First Residents

A Dream Many Years in the Making Becomes a Reality

If a picture is worth a thousand words, an image of a new resident welcome kit posted to the Joseph’s Home Facebook page on March 25 spoke volumes. It proclaimed to the world, “Mary’s Home is officially open!” The story behind the image is much larger than that exciting proclamation.

For 22 years, Joseph’s Home has been helping men without resources who have acute medical needs heal and achieve independence. For those 22 years, there has not been a comparable ministry for women experiencing the same situation.

Mary’s Home is the realization of a dream that the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine had when they answered God’s call to serve the most vulnerable by opening Joseph’s Home in October 2000. Since then, hundreds of men have recovered their health and moved into permanent housing through the help of Joseph’s Home.

With the first resident welcomed in late March, Mary’s Home is now providing a nurturing, caring place to recuperate for women experiencing both homelessness and acute medical conditions. Mary’s Home joins Joseph’s Home as the only local organization offering care for people experiencing homelessness who are too ill or frail to recover from an illness or injury on the streets or in a traditional shelter.

Located next to Joseph’s Home, the building was originally built as a school and then used as a daycare. Following renovations, Mary’s Home is now a 10-room facility with an onsite kitchen, laundry, computer lab and medical clinic. Just like at Joseph’s Home, residents benefit from medical supervision, nutritious meals, nursing care, medication management, and coordination with health care, supportive service and housing providers to help them reach housing and health stability.

“The importance of opening Mary’s Home cannot be overstated,” said Anthony Searcy, chair of the Joseph’s Home Board of Directors. “What we have been doing for men for many years, we can now do for women and fulfill a need that has not been addressed in this area. Mary’s Home truly rounds out the mission of Joseph’s Home.”

Hired in November, Angela Butts is a social worker at Mary’s Home and its first full-time employee. As the home’s social worker, Angela works with residents to fill out their intake paperwork, ensure they understand policies, ensure they have clothing and transportation to and from medical appointments, acts as an advocate for them, and more.

She will also oversee bringing programs to Mary’s Home that have been successful at Joseph’s Home, such as music and art therapy, and group sessions on a range of topics from budgeting to healthy relationships to mental wellness. Plus, she would like to offer self-esteem classes, services of a beautician and gentle exercise, such as chair yoga.

“It was so exciting to welcome our first resident in March. There is tremendous potential at Mary’s Home to help women get healthy and back on their feet, to have an apartment of their own because health is finally not an issue,” said Angela. “I cannot express how happy I am to be the social worker here. It’s such a joy to be able to help women with health concerns.”

Angela said she expects that once Mary’s Home is fully staffed, it won’t take more than a month to fill all 10 beds as the word gets out. “I think our referral partners might even be more excited than I am because they’ve needed something like Mary’s Home for many years,” she added.

Thank You Mary’s Home Capital Campaign Contributors and Committee

Special thanks to everyone who contributed to the Mary’s Home Capital Campaign. With your generous support, the campaign raised more than $1.5 million, exceeding its goal of $1.3 million. Without your support, the vision to make Mary’s Home a reality could not have been possible. Today, women experiencing homelessness who need medical respite care have a safe, secure place to heal and achieve independence.

“We are deeply grateful to the entire capital campaign committee, including Jeanne Colleran Weaver, committee chair, and Sister Joan Gallagher, CSA, honorary chair. Thanks to the committee’s hard work as well as the work of our board of directors, we were able to tell the story of Mary’s Home and inspire donors to generously contribute the needed funds to expand our ministry,” said Beth Graham, Joseph’s Home executive director.

Mary’s Home Capital Campaign Committee:

  • Jeanne Colleran Weaver, Chair
  • Sr. Joan Gallagher, CSA, Honorary Co-Chair
  • Kristine Adams, MSN, CNP
  • William M. Denihan
  • Mary Denihan
  • Lorraine Dodero
  • Richard C. Gallagher
  • Natoya Walker Minor
  • Lisa Zimmerman, PMP

Joseph’s Home One of Five Nationwide Medical Respite Programs to Receive CDC Foundation/NIMRC Award

Joseph’s Home is one of five nationwide medical respite programs chosen by the National Institute for Medical Respite Care (NIMRC) and the CDC Foundation to receive grant money and two years of technical assistance to help strengthen behavioral and mental health services. Joseph’s Home will receive funding and support in its efforts to improve health outcomes for men and women experiencing homelessness and, ultimately, to help them obtain permanent, stable housing. NIMRC and CDC Foundation funding and technical assistance will help identify and reduce barriers in delivering behavioral health services while COVID-19 persists.

Cleveland Magazine features Joseph’s Home in article about United Way investments in Cleveland

“We all learn here how important a place to call home is. We all want the same things and, often, they aren’t all that complicated,” says Beth Graham, executive director of Joseph’s Home, in a recent article in Cleveland Magazine about how the United Way is investing in Greater Cleveland. Joseph’s Home is one of 16 Northeast Ohio agency partners selected to receive grants for the 2022-2023 funding cycle through Community Hub for Basic Needs. The new funding process is part of United Way’s total $20.1 million investment strategy in the region in 2022.

Joseph’s Home One of 16 United Way Agency Partners Chosen to Receive $2.6 Million in Grants Through Basic Needs Program

Joseph’s Home is one of 16 agency partners of the United Way of Greater Cleveland to receive $2.6 million in grants as part of its Community Hub for Basic Needs program. Joseph’s Home will receive $130,000 for the new Mary’s Home, which will provide a safe place for single adult women who are experiencing homelessness and have an acute medical condition when it opens by the end of January.

Joseph’s Home Raises $32,444 During #weGiveCatholic to Exceed Fundraising Goal

The annual #weGiveCatholic day of online giving has become a major fundraising source for many Catholic organizations across Northeast Ohio, and Joseph’s Home is no exception. On November 30, 133 donors raised $32,444 for Joseph’s Home, exceeding the goal of raising $30,000. To make a year-end donation to Joseph’s Home, please visit josephshome.com/donate/donate-today

Mary’s Home blessing brings ministry closer to serving medically fragile women who are experiencing homelessness

On November 3, the dream to serve the physical and mental health needs of medically fragile women experiencing homelessness became a step closer to reality with the blessing of Mary's Home. Mary's Home is a 10-bed facility that was a former school and daycare center adjacent to Joseph's Home. It is expected to open in early 2022 and will serve greater Cleveland’s population of single, adult women who are experiencing homelessness and have acute medical conditions.

The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland was at the blessing ceremony and open house and wrote about Mary's Home and the event on its website. The full text of the article is below or available here (including a video from the blessing).

Mary’s Home to aid medically fragile women nears completion, is blessed

The Sisters of Charity Health System gave a preview of its newest facility, Mary’s Home, during a blessing ceremony and reception on Nov. 3.

Mary’s Home, a companion to the nearby Joseph’s Home, has a similar mission: to serve the medically fragile who are experiencing homelessness. It will serve women. Joseph’s Home, which opened in 2000, serves men.

The new facility, at 2302 Community College Ave., Cleveland, will open in late December or early 2022, once all medical equipment and furnishings arrive. Bialosky Associates and Regency Construction handled renovations to the building.

“The Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine are visionaries,” said Anthony Searcy, chair, Joseph’s Home Board of Directors. He thanked the sisters, the staff, board members and campaign committee for their efforts to make Mary’s Home a reality. More than $1.5 million was raised for the new ministry.

Mary’s Home will have 10 private, furnished suites; kitchen, dining and restroom facilities; multiple meeting spaces for programming, including art and music therapy, and group sessions; isolation suites in case of a coronavirus case or other infectious disease; and a dedicated health care clinic.

Joseph’s Home staff said they receive countless calls from hospital social workers seeking help for women with serious medical issues since traditional shelters are not equipped to handle women recovering from surgery or other acute health conditions. Often women are treated in an emergency department, discharged to a shelter or back onto the streets and the cycle begins again.

Beth Graham, Joseph’s Home executive director, also will oversee Mary’s Home. The facility will fill the gap to serve women who need to find secure housing as they rebuild their lives, she said. Both Searcy and Graham credited the CSA sisters saying, “Their hearts are full of faith, hope and love.” Mary’s Home will allow these women in crisis to “hit the reset button,” Searcy said.

“We are thrilled to open the doors to women this year and have many people to thank for this,” Graham said, adding “sincere and eternal gratitude to the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine for their faithful leadership and vision that set the foundation for this expansion of our ministry.”

Members of the capital campaign committee also were credited for their efforts to make the home a reality. Jeanne Colleran Weaver chaired the committee with Sister Joan Gallagher, CSA, as honorary co-chair. Sister Gallagher also was a founder of Joseph’s Home. Kristine Adams, William and Mary Denihan, Lorraine Dodero, Richard Gallagher, Natoya Walker-Minor and Lisa Zimmerman are members of the capital campaign committee.

“Working on this capital campaign was like being on a dating app and never meeting the person,” Weaver quipped, noting the campaign took place during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, “while we were in our bubbles. It’s not easy to ask for money unless the need is truly in your heart.” She also thanked Graham for her tireless work on behalf of both Joseph’s Home and Mary’s home. “Beth holds every detail in her hands,” she said.

Now that Mary’s Home is about to become a reality, Weaver said it’s important to be sure the ministry is sustained.

Sister Gallagher offered her gratitude to her fellow CSA Sisters Theresa Bontempo, Marian Durkin, Evelyn Flowers, Coletta McNamee, Ruth Ann Patrick, Marietta Rohr, Elizabeth Schur and Catherine Walsh, all of whom worked to help establish Joseph’s Home and to pave the way for Mary’s Home. She noted the mission statements for both facilities are the same, with the exception that Joseph’s Home serves men and Mary’s Home is for women.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you,” said Sister Judith Ann Karam, CSA, congregational leader and former CEO of the SCHS. “Twenty-one years ago, Joseph’s home opened and the dream for Mary’s home took flesh. Every time we drove past a vacant convent or another building, someone would say we could put Mary’s Home there,” she said.

“This is not a new idea. It has been in the heart and soul of the Sisters of Charity of St Augustine for many years,” Sister Karam said, noting the sisters have served the Diocese of Cleveland for 170 years. “And as we always say, we never did it alone.” She said the sisters’ mission is to serve the underserved. When asking themselves how God was calling them to do that, Joseph’s home was conceived.

Bishop Edward Malesic had been scheduled to preside at the blessing, but was unable to attend, so Father Isidore Munishi, AJ, filled in. He serves as Catholic chaplain at the nearby St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, also a ministry of the SCHS.

“We have an obligation to provide for these men and women who are created in God’s image. We must see him in them,” Father Munishi said. “It is a privilege to serve them.”

Father Munishi blessed a crucifix that was placed on the wall in the main hallway of Mary’s Home. He also went room to room, blessing each one. Many of the rooms are named after benefactors, including the entryway, honoring the Sisters of Notre Dame; the Barbara and John Schubert Supportive Service Space; The Reinberger Foundation Kitchen; Sister Joan Gallagher, SCA Meeting Room; Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland Dining Room; Dodero Foundation Living Room; and Lloyd M. Cook, M.D. Memorial Clinic.

The blessing began outdoors under a tent and continued inside Mary’s Home, with masked guests assigned to various rooms in order to avoid overcrowding. A reception followed the blessing.

Since it opened, Joseph’s Home has helped hundreds of men recover from medical issues and transition safely to self-care and independence in their own homes by developing a proven method for helping them heal and regain their housing and health stability. In 2020, 69% of Joseph’s home residents achieved medical stability at discharge and 57% were discharged to a stable setting, including 45% who left for permanent rental housing. Of those who left in 2019, 88% continued to remain medically stable and 90% continued to live in a stable home one year later.

At Joseph’s Home, a team-based approach is used to ensure that the residents become holistically healthier. Their acute medical issues are stabilized quickly, other health needs are determined and housing barriers are identified and addressed. They also are connected with community resources so they can leave Joseph’s Home and successfully live in stable housing.

Both Joseph’s Home and Mary’s Home have commitments from Cuyahoga County, the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board, also called ADAMHS, as well as other funders for staff and programming costs.

United Way Seeks Voice of Community for Funding Opportunity – Joseph’s Home Needs Your Vote

Joseph’s Home has applied to the United Way of Greater Cleveland through a request for ideas. This significant funding would support our Mary’s Home expansion. Not only would it enable us to support the staff, program and operating costs, our proposal involves a unique pilot partnership with the Cleveland Clinic that will enable us to evaluate the quality, efficacy and cost effectiveness of medical respite for medically-fragile people experiencing homelessness.