The Center's Words

Center For Respite Care Turns 20 and Honors 20

by | Jan 18, 2023 | The Center’s Words

2023 is about our partners

The Center for Respite Care turns 20 in 2023. It is the region’s only organization that cares for people experiencing homelessness — once they are released from the hospital. Importantly, the Center team worked tirelessly through the pandemic — never taking “days off” and ensuring a minimal incidence of COVID in the facility.

They were there for those who needed them most.

To pay tribute to its 20 years — the Center will honor 20 people and organizations who have been instrumental in supporting the Center and the wider community. The first named honoree is the Saint Anthony Center (SAC.)

“I am honored to have led the Center for nine years. In that time, we have moved into a collective care-work space with partners who serve our same clients. This special place — The Saint Anthony Center (SAC) — is our first honoree of 2023. We are using this year to thank those people and organizations who have fueled our success and served our community’s most vulnerable,” Laurel Nelson, CEO of the Center said.

The SAC, located in the Cincinnati neighborhood of Over the Rhine on the corner of Republic and Liberty, was initially made possible due to the generosity of the Franciscan Friars. It is the prior St. Anthony Messenger building — and was retrofitted to accommodate a host of organizations.  Below, we share a brief profile of each of our agency partners, highlight the current needs of the SAC tenants, and offer a quick recap of 2022 challenges and  successes.


Franciscan Ministries

Franciscan Ministries’ Haircuts from the Heart restores confidence and self-image by providing haircuts for the impoverished and homeless.

Current needs:

include personal garments, new underwear (please do not launder), light clothing, stretch pants, plain short sleeve t-shirts

Foodstuff: single-serve food items such as chicken, tuna packs, soup cups, mac & cheese cups, noodles (ramen), peanut butter crackers, granola bars, and rice crispy treats

Positive notes:

They just finished celebrating their 10th year as Franciscan Ministries, Inc (although their oldest program has been around since 1988.)

Mary Magdalen House

Mary Magdalen House restores dignity and hygiene by providing a place to shower, laundry service, charge and use phones, and receive messages and mail.

Mary Magdalen House is an oasis of hospitality in Cincinnati. It restores dignity to its guests by providing a safe and welcoming space where adults can tend to their personal hygiene needs. In 2022, Mary Magdalen House welcomed more than 1,600 individual guests, provided more than 21,000 hot showers, laundered more than 19,000 outfits, and offered additional resources as needed.  Hundreds of their guests receive mail and phone messages there.

Current needs:

They anticipate that the greatest challenge for 2023 will be the need for clothing – especially men’s clothing as 75% of those we serve to identify as male.  Their greatest needs are men’s jeans and work pants, t-shirts, underwear, and sweatshirts.

Clothing can be dropped off at 1629 Republic Street or you can browse their Amazon Wishlist to have items shipped directly to Mary Magdalen House.  Add shipping instructions to deliver between 8:30 am – 4 pm to ensure items are dropped off during their business hours.

Positive notes:

In 2022, Mary Magdalen House invited more organizations to use space in the lobby to talk with guests about addiction recovery, job training, and placement options, assistance with SNAP and SSI enrollment, and even health screenings.  The biggest accomplishment in 2022 is the expansion and revamping of their mail processing.  Guests can use the organization’s address to register to vote, receive their ID and birth certificate, apply for jobs, receive correspondence about benefits, etc.

St Francis Seraph Ministries

St. Francis Seraph Ministries nurtures and nourishes clients through their programs: Mother Teresa of Calcutta Dining Room, Bagged Lunch, Cooking for The Family, and Sarah Center.

Current needs: 

St. Francis Seraph Ministries needs volunteers to help serve breakfast and dinner to guests as part of the Mother Teresa of Calcutta Dining Room program. The volunteer shift for breakfast is from 6:45-9:00 am; for dinner, the volunteer shift is 3:45-6:15 pm.

Meals are served Monday through Friday.

They greatly need volunteers for the Foot Care for the Souls program. Volunteers are needed on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 3:45-6:00 pm.

Positive notes:

St. Francis Seraph Ministries served more than 80,000 meals to individuals who were experiencing homelessness or low-income this past year. In addition, they re-opened their jewelry making program in the Sarah Center, a program that had been closed since the onset of the pandemic.

Welcome Home Collaborative

Welcome Home Collaborative is a transitional housing program for those experiencing  homelessness, the working poor, and struggling families, who are looking for a second chance in life, by offering temporary housing in a programmed environment that includes a Life Coach, and program rules & procedures designed to achieve transformational change.

The two-year program provides tools to help associates build a solid foundation for life.

Current needs:

The organization is looking for volunteers to fill these open positions.

Marketing Manager – The marketing manager will contribute to the planning and implementation of strategic and product marketing while leading business development initiatives to support the mission and vision of Welcome Home Collaborative.

Life Coach – The Life Coach will work with the associate to put together a Life Plan; that is to say, short-term and long-term Smart Goals. The duties include meeting and working with the associate on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.

Since the establishment of SAC, this standalone facility is the only one of its kind in the county. Its wraparound services include provision for basic hygiene, food and clothing, healing medical treatment, opportunities for learning life skills, locating stable housing, and a wide array of social service support.

In the weeks to come, The Center for Respite Care will continue spotlight its “20 for 20 years” honorees.  The anniversary year will be spent paying grateful tribute to those individuals and organizations who have made this 20-year journey possible.

Give Today

The Center for Respite Care is a 501(C)3 non-profit organization. View our 2022 IRS Form 990 – Public Disclosure.








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Center for Respite Care
1615 Republic Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202

P.O. Box 141301
Cincinnati, Ohio 45250

(513) 621-1868

(513) 621-1872

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