-by Staci Santa
On June 30, 2000, Joseph’s Home opened its doors at 2412 Community College Avenue in Cleveland for its first resident, a homeless cancer victim suffering through chemotherapy treatments. Sr. Joan Gallagher, CSA and Program Manager of Joseph’s Home has worked for that day to come for several years. She and a committee of community members including social workers and nurses realized a need in the community for a place where homeless people coming out of the health care system had a place to get well. The committee surveyed the existing shelters and determined that, because of their close quarters, none of them were filling such a niche. After a few revisions, a proposal to Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was approved and renovations began.
The mission of Joseph’s Home is to provide a transitional facility for the recuperating homeless individual who has no other appropriate place to go for shelter and home health care and is looking for a place to be healed. The facility is staffed 24 hours each day and residents have in and out access until 10:00 pm. Rooms are private, but do not have radios or televisions. A community television is in the common area, as well as a library and soon, an exercise room.
Joseph’s Home has nine beds available for residents who will require this facility. To date, its potential clients have been referred mostly from MetroHealth Hospital and 2100 Lakeside Place. From those referrals, one client has been placed. Among other restrictions, Joseph’s Home does not accept people with IVs or who are being tube-fed. In addition, Joseph’s Home only accepts people who are willing to change their lifestyle so that they are ready to move into permanent housing upon completion of their stay at Joseph’s Home. Although it will eventually accept women, the staff has agreed to work with only men first.
Sr. Joan Gallagher describes Joseph’s Home’s environment as, "healing in a home environment," and she is very excited about getting started. Joseph’s Home depends on volunteers and donations, particularly men’s clothing. If you would like more information, contact Sr. Regina at 216/685-1551.
Copyright NEOCH and the Homeless Grapevine, Issue #44 September 2000