Transformation Awards 2024

Join us, Thursday, September 26 at 7:00 PM to celebrate this year’s honorees

Our Mission


For All of Us

The mission of the Center for Respite Care is to provide quality, holistic medical care to people experiencing homelessness who need a safe place to heal, while assisting them in breaking the cycle of homelessness.

Our Core Values

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In Fiscal Year 2023-24

Clients served (unduplicated)

Bed Nights

Hours of Service

Community Resource Connections

Opinion Published Pieces

Our goal is to reach one cohort: those who need us most. Collectively we feed, treat, clothe and care for people. Read More ›

Laurel Derks Nelson, CEO

These people have been my saving grace and backbone while at the center. They have taught me to hold patience in one hand and humility in the other. Read More ›

Joseph Harmon

Lives We’ve Touched

We Have the Power to Impact Our Future, and We’re Doing Something About It

Collectively we feed, treat, clothe, and care for people. While we were founded 21 years ago, it has been the move to our current location — the Saint Anthony Center (SAC) — that has enabled essential growth and world-class facilities for our clients.

We are the only organization in Southwest Ohio to care for adults experiencing homelessness who are ill — without a place to recover.

 The Franciscan Friars — a brave organization  —were instrumental in our move into the SAC. They stand for social justice and serve the most impoverished.  They made this space available in the heart of Over-the-Rhine. While there is much talk about gentrification in our community, we solidly sit in the middle of development and serve those who need us most.

 The Friars have created a multi-century legacy of caring for the most challenged people in the communities in which they work and live. Their commitment to St. Francis endures:

“He preached peace in an era when life without war was unthinkable. He embraced the poor while others treated them with scorn. And he allied himself with nature centuries before humanity understood its connection to every living thing.”

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The Center for Respite Care

The Center for Respite Care (the Center) is a 24-hour facility providing medical and nursing care to sick people experiencing homelessness to promote effective healing. Clients receive quality medical care and assistance in breaking the cycle of homelessness. Since opening in 2003, the Center has cared for over 1,800 sick and injured people who are homeless.

Medical Needs of People Experiencing Homelessness

Substandard living conditions, inadequate nutrition, extreme weather and limited healthcare inevitably lead to serious health conditions. Shelters and homeless treatment programs are simply unable to accommodate clients recovering from surgery or those with acute health conditions. Also, area hospitals cannot provide extended post-treatment care to homeless patients. Therefore, people who experiencing homelessness have a high rate of unresolved health conditions or complications which lead to repeat emergency room visits and hospital stays due to improper healing, at a tremendous cost to local hospitals and our community.

Closing the Gap: Homeless Health Services

The collaborative efforts of many health care and homeless service providers allow The Center to be an important link in the transition for many people. Illness or injury does not have to disrupt a person’s progress toward self-sufficiency. By offering appropriate care and referral of patients to post-recovery treatment and/or housing, The Center is an important bridge enabling people without homes to begin or continue the path to independent living in permanent housing.

Latest News

The Center’s Words

Get Involved

Over 1000 individuals, churches, foundations, businesses, and other civic groups have given money, goods, or volunteer service since we opened our doors. We operate with government funds, grants, support from area hospitals and generous gifts from corporations and individuals. This, combined with volunteerism, ensures that we can continue to grow our impact.


The Center for Respite Care enjoys the support of volunteers in carrying out its mission.

Wish List

Providing comfortable clothing for rest and medical recovery is an ongoing need, as are toiletries.


We would not be able to pursue our mission without all of the generous support we have received from this amazing community.

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Upcoming Events



Music for the holidays: The Chertock Family and Friends

December 18 at 7:00 pm at the Sycamore Presbyterian Church (

Community Partners

Full Rein Logo
La Soupe Logo
NeighborHub Health

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

GuideStar Platinum Transparency 2021