Last spring, the Benedictine Sisters of Mt. Angel called upon Catholic Community Services to assist with management of the St. Joseph Shelter and Mission Benedict. The sisters have provided food, shelter, case management services and compassion to thousands of children, adults and families for 29 years.
CCS welcomed the opportunity to assist in providing temporary administrative oversight for these critical services through a management agreement.
Since CCS began managing the shelter in April, CCS staff have reduced back stock in perishable food items, created an intake system to ensure the resident families feel safe, and introduced community cafés where residents are able to work together to voice and resolve issues important to the shelter community.
The young residents’ school attendance is up to 100%, and regular study halls staffed by volunteer tutors have been implemented. Nutritious community meals are prepared and served three times a week by the shelter’s new cook, Molly Ainsley, who is also a case worker by profession.
CCS will continue to oversee the operations of the ministry until June 30th. The trial period will determine the feasibility of sustaining St. Joseph Shelter and the Mission as CCS programs permanently. A newly formed Community Advisory Committee will help guide the decision-making by reporting to the CCS Board of Directors and the sisters.