Happy New Year — WOW, 20 YEARS!
The Center for Respite Care came into existence through the energies of several local medical and social service professionals who were daily made aware of the lack of options for a person experiencing homelessness and in need of medical recovery, the ongoing problem of being discharged to the streets with a shelter system unequipped to provide support.
Through a collaboration of the Health Alliance, TriHealth and Mercy Health Partners and over 25 homeless agencies, the Center for Respite Care was opened in October 2003 as a program of the Health Resource Center. Initial funding was from a grant request to the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation. It’s first home was a wing of rooms at the Center for Addiction Treatment (CCAT) on Ezzard Charles Drive in the West End.
On May 1, 2005, a separate non-profit corporation, the Center for Respite Care, Inc., was formed and the existing program was transferred into this new entity. No changes were made to the core program (mission, goals, services, clients, staff, management etc.). The new agency was granted 501(c)(3) status on December 22, 2005. On September 30, 2006, the Center moved to a building owned by Garden Park Nursing Home in the Cincinnati neighborhood of Avondale
In 2016, the Board of Directors finalized a robust strategic plan that placed an emphasis on growing the mission in terms of number of people served and meeting homeless adults where they are – figuratively and literally. To that end, the Center launched a successful funding campaign in 2016 to pay for a strategic relocation from Avondale to the newly formed non-profit hub, St. Anthony Center (SAC), in the Cincinnati city central neighborhood, Over-the-Rhine. It joined six other partnering agencies in December of 2017. The relocation brought a successful closing to the Center’s board of trustee’s previous three-year plan. With the guidance of an outside facilitator, the board and senior staff recently completed a new three-year plan, ratified at the board’s 2019 May meeting.
The mission of the Center for Respite Care continues to be to provide quality, holistic medical care to people experiencing homelessness who need a safe place to heal while assisting in breaking the cycle of homelessness. The Center has provided over 6,000 bed nights and 144,000 hours of service in the past year.
While it is always about the care we provide — it is also about the values that we embrace in a spirit of mercy . We commit ourselves to –
- Ignite the human spirit by restoring health, hope and dignity.
- Demonstrate mercy and compassion for all.
- Provide high quality health care.
- Connect the individual to the Greater Cincinnati/Tristate community through case management.
- Serve, collaborate, and educate within our internal and external communities.x
These values, the diligence of our team, and the trust that our clients put in us have
propelled us forward and instilled our enduring passion for twenty years.
As the Center’s Chief Executive Officer, I am delighted to announce that, as we celebrate this anniversary year, we will honor 20 individuals and organizations who have been a part of the story of the Center’s 20 years of service. We call this 20 years—20 people and organizations.
The first honoree is the St. Anthony Center. In the months to come, we will highlight both the SAC and others. The Center for Respite Care, with its mission to provide Medical Recovery to Independence for its clients, is proud to be a part of this SAC partnership. Collectively, the SAC partners feed, provide hygiene, clothe, administer healthcare and a wide variety of social services for people from throughout the wider Cincinnati community.
While we were founded 20 years ago, it has been the move to our new location, which has enabled essential growth and world-class facilities for our clients. This is thanks to the Franciscan Friars. This brave organization that stands for social justice and serves the most impoverished among us has made this space available in the heart of Over the Rhine. We exist to care for those who are most vulnerable along with our SAC partners.
In recent years the Center has become a recipient of funds from the Hamilton County Senior Services Levy, solidified a media partnership with Channel 12, and been routinely featured on The Cincinnati Enquirer opinion page with pieces about us — As well as regular features in Movers and Makers. It has been a productive 20 years.
On our January 15th post, we will offer guidance for those who want to support and volunteer for the SAC organizations. This includes goods services, financial gifts, and the gift of your time.
Thank you for believing in the Center for Respite Care and our St. Anthony Center partners. We could not do it without you.