Catholic Charities of St. Louis has been selected as one of five Catholic Charities agencies nationwide to pilot a five-year, multi-million dollar initiative aimed at reducing chronic homelessness by 20%; decreasing hospital readmission rates for this population by at least 25%; and connecting 35% of newly housed persons with primary care and behavioral health services.
The Healthy Housing Initiative, announced today by Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA), will also launch in Detroit, Michigan; Las Vegas, Nevada; Portland, Oregon; and Spokane, Washington.
As the local Healthy Housing Initiative lead, Catholic Charities of St. Louis (CCSTL) will collaborate with St. Patrick Center and other CCSTL federated agencies, as well as the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Incarnate Word Foundation, Mercy, and SSM Health.
“I am proud of the work all eight of our federated agencies do to help empower people in our community who are poor and vulnerable,” said Catholic Charities of St. Louis President Theresa Ruzicka. “This opportunity from Catholic Charities USA is a blessing that will further expand our ministry to people who are experiencing home insecurity and related barriers to independence.”
As an agency focused on providing opportunities to those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, St. Patrick Center will play a major part in the five-year program.
“The CCUSA Healthy Housing Initiative is a perfect complement to St. Patrick Center’s Hospital to Housing Project, as well as the work all of our Catholic Charities of St. Louis agencies do in the areas of housing and health,” said St. Patrick Center CEO Laurie Phillips. “This will allow us to make even more sustained, positive change in our community.”
The Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis, sees the Healthy Housing Initiative as another opportunity to bring vital healthcare to those currently doing without.
“Access to good healthcare is a basic requirement for all of us that the Archdiocese of St. Louis is passionate about,” said Archbishop Robert J. Carlson.
“The archdiocese has been active in working with Catholic Charities to find new means to provide healthcare to our brothers and sisters who need it most. This includes a new mobile clinic that will soon begin serving uninsured individuals in rural parts of Missouri. The Healthy Housing Initiative is another extension of that effort.”