Building on a Dream 20 Years in the Making to Bring Healing to Women
A MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
“We can’t return to normal.” These words were spoken by my friend and colleague, Angela D’Orazio, of the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland. This may sound strange in this time of deep longing for things to feel familiar, but what Angela said and what I believe is that “normal” for those experiencing homelessness is awful and unacceptable. The coronavirus pandemic has taught me that things cannot simply return to normal, or we have missed the chance of our lifetimes to make things better.
Twenty years ago, members of the “Dream Team” of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine founded Joseph’s Home. Why did they call themselves the Dream Team? They were dreaming of ways to bring healing and love to all people. From the start, the CSAs did not limit themselves to what already existed, to what was normal. Instead, they dreamed and dared to create what did not exist—a respectful, humane, temporary home for medically-fragile men experiencing homelessness to safely recuperate and rebuild their lives. A place where men could get support and encouragement to stabilize their health and begin dreaming of their own possibilities as unique and special individuals.
Over the last several years, our organization has been dreaming. Not limiting ourselves to what is, but dreaming of what could be. Dreaming of ways to bring healing and support to more people, to end the suffering and trauma of homelessness for more people. This has culminated in a plan to create what does not currently exist—a respectful, humane, temporary home for medically-fragile women experiencing homelessness to safely recuperate and rebuild their lives. As you will read in more detail, we are launching Mary’s Home and, with your help, will open our healing doors to Cleveland’s most vulnerable women by the end of this year.
We thought it fitting to celebrate the achievements of the remarkable Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine, in part, by announcing this transformational project. Mary’s Home is in countless ways their project, a new iteration of their dream and part of their incredible legacy. They paved the way, and we are following in their footsteps.
Deciding to expand and initiating a capital campaign in the middle of a pandemic is not ideal, but as Angela said, we cannot return to a normal of women being discharged from a hospital with nowhere to go. We cannot return to a normal that expects an overwhelmed shelter system to provide recuperative care. It is time to make the dream of Mary’s Home a reality.
Yours in Mission,
Executive Director, Joseph’s Home