When asked in an interview what she liked most about her job, our founder Sr. Mary Elizabeth Gintling replied: “The fact that we have no red tape. We are free to do for the poor what the poor need.”
That is still true today, and the Joseph House has the freedom to respond to people in need because of our loyal and generous donors.
We receive no government aid to fund our programs. We depend completely on private donations. Only with the support of caring individuals can we respond to the needs, both large and small, of many people.
To show you the impact your support makes, here is a summary of the assistance we provided at the Joseph House Crisis Center during 2021:
- 1,038 checks and payments were issued to help individuals and families who were in a crisis situation. We issued checks to stop evictions, pay security deposits on new rentals, pay overdue electric, gas, and water bills (often restoring services that had been cut off), and purchase heating oil and propane. When shelters were full we paid for motel rooms for families in danger of becoming homeless. Our funds were also used to buy prescription medications, medical devices, emergency dental work, and other health care needs. We will always consider any request for assistance as long as the need can be demonstrated.
- 2,863 bags of groceries were given out from our Food Pantry. An average of 196 households, representing 581 people, received food each month.
- 4,899 requests for help were responded to at our Hospitality Room for the Homeless. We provided showers, laundry service, food, coats, blankets, and personal care products.
- 5,209 bagged lunches were given to the homeless and other Crisis Center clients. Since our Soup Kitchen is closed because of the pandemic, our church partners prepared these lunches instead.
- 287 new winter coats for children were distributed.
- 440 gift bags for children were given out at Christmas. Each bag included a large toy, a smaller one, a book, a puzzle or activity book, assorted stocking stuffers, plus a hat, scarf, or mittens.
We helped many people during 2021. Here are a few of their stories:
Vivian, 40, cannot walk because of an undiagnosed medical condition that is causing a buildup of fluid around her spinal cord. She has no income at the moment and no family in the area. Although Vivian’s landlord is sympathetic to her situation, he said he’d have to evict her if he didn’t receive any payment for the rent. Vivian reached out to many organizations for help to no avail. Then she contacted us. We sent $300 to her landlord.
Roberto is healing from the amputation of three of his toes. He receives only $264 per month in temporary state assistance. He was homeless, and his social worker was trying to find him an affordable place to live. She called us to see if we could place him in a motel for a few days. We paid $204 for five nights.
Dominique, 27, and her daughter had no heat in their home, a trailer that has seen better days. With a job at a convenience store, Dominique is a frontline worker during the pandemic, but yet she could not afford to buy kerosene for her trailer’s furnace. We paid $313 to get the tank filled.
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Our donors also keep the Joseph House Workshop in operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The Workshop provides a safe and healthy environment for up to eight homeless men. The men are given the time and assistance they need to get job training, address personal growth and health issues, and begin steady employment.
Thanks to your support, during 2021 we were able to do some much needed improvements to the Workshop’s facilities. A new floor was installed in the kitchen along with two new refrigerators. Please read the January 2022 edition of our Newsletter for additional updates about the Workshop.