July 8, 2019
Sisters of Charity Foundation invests $1.2 million in first half of 2019 to uplift Cleveland’s most vulnerable populations
Cleveland, Ohio, July 8, 2019 – Through the first two quarters of 2019, the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland (SOCF) invested more than $1.2 million to support efforts in three main focus areas: ending homelessness, supporting Catholic sisters and their ministries, and strengthening Cleveland’s Central neighborhood through health and education initiatives.
A portion of 2019 investments in housing and homelessness include $100,000 for YWCA of Greater Cleveland to continue to lead A Place 4 Me, a diverse collaboration of 30 public and private partners committed to ending homelessness among young people (ages 15-24), particularly those with histories of foster care. Operating under a guiding principle of “nothing about me without me,” A Place 4 Me looks to REACH, its youth action board, as an essential partner in understanding how to best connect with young people experiencing homelessness. A major portion of SOCF’s funding to A Place 4 Me supports youth engagement and direct needs, in addition to operational support.
A Place 4 Me works alongside Cuyahoga County Office of Homeless Services and the Division of Children and Family Services to improve coordination between child welfare and homeless services. SOCF has supported this work since 2014, and in that time, A Place 4 Me has become a trusted resource for homeless and unstably housed young people in greater Cleveland.
Other successful housing investments in 2019 include continued support of the Housing First initiative, which is on track to bring an end to chronic homelessness in Cleveland next year. The initiative, led by Enterprise Community Partners and developed in 2002 in partnership with SOCF and the local Office of Homeless Services, has created nearly 800 units of permanent supportive housing in our community since its inception. In 2019, SOCF continued its commitment with a grant of $100,000 to support Enterprise and Housing First.
“With the sustained commitment and support from the foundation, our community has demonstrated that effective collaboration, coordination and a focus on data can end homelessness,” said Susanna Krey, SOCF president. “And we recognize that individuals living with chronic homelessness are only a percentage of those unstably housed in Cuyahoga County. We will continue to advance strategies that support youth and families experiencing homelessness as we continue this bold work of ending homelessness in our community.”
Investments in Catholic Sisters and health policy
The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland includes in its endowment the Saint Ann Foundation, the nation’s first health conversion foundation and the first foundation founded by Catholic sisters. In recognition of the ongoing legacy of Catholic sisters, SOCF distributes $100,000 total each year to sister-led or sister-founded organizations seeking ministry support. This year, funding will be divided among 14 recipients, including Blessing House, Collinwood Neighborhood Catholic Ministries, House of Champions, Jennings, Maggie’s Place, Magnificat High School, Metro Catholic School, Saint Martin de Porres High School, Sisters of Notre Dame, Slavic Village Development, St. Paul Catholic Church/Centro San Pablo, The Catholic Worker of Akron, The Village at Marymount and Ursuline College.
With decades of work in the areas of systems change, SOCF understands the power in policy, especially when it applies to matters of health. In the first half of 2019, the foundation contributed more than $300,000 to health initiatives, focusing especially on organizations that address issues of policy, like Health Policy Institute of Ohio and Policy Matters Ohio. Building on its commitment to affordable housing and its connection to housing policy, SOCF contributed $40,000 to the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio (COHHIO) to advocate for increased government support of the Ohio Housing Trust Fund.
Additional investments in the first half of 2019 include $50,000 to Kent State University to complete research and interventions in the Central neighborhood, to gather information on how race and race-related stress may contribute to infant mortality. The foundation also contributed $100,000 to Saint Ignatius High School’s new Robert Welsh Academy, designed to provide a high-quality Catholic education to boys of modest means in Cleveland – including several students from Central.
Click here to view all of Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland’s first- and second-quarter 2019 grants.