January 4, 2013

Building Healthy Communities' healthy cooking classes for teens featured in Plain Dealer

Building Healthy Communities, which supports and empowers Cleveland residents to address quality of life concerns, is currently providing free cooking classes to moms, teens and children in the city’s Central and Kinsman neighborhoods. Developed to support healthy eating habits and teach ways to prepare healthy meals and snacks, the classes typically run Tuesday afternoons for four weeks. Recently, The Plain Dealer featured a Building Healthy Communities Teen Chef Class in an article, which also includes a video interview with Building Healthy Communities Director Sharon Glaspie. [More]
December 14, 2012

Latest "Joseph’s Journey" newsletter details how Joseph’s Home transforms the lives of homeless men one man at a time

Mr. H. is typically a soft-spoken, mild-mannered person. But, ask him about his time at Joseph’s Home and he becomes much more animated as he describes the care he received. “All the Joseph’s Home staff, especially Ms. Jackson [Executive Director Georgette Jackson], have supported me all the time,” explained Mr. H. “It relieved my mind knowing I could be somewhere safe, clean and secure. I am very appreciative.” After years of struggling with diabetes and congestive heart failure, plus undergoing dialysis due to kidney failure and being hospitalized regularly, Mr. H. was unable to work and eventually became homeless. He stayed at a homeless shelter for more than a month, but the shelter could not provide the specialized medical care he needed. He was referred to Joseph’s Home and admitted in August 2011. Joseph’s Home provided Mr. H. with the medical attention he needed, ensuring he took his medications and received regular dialysis. He also received anger management counseling, life skills classes and nutrition education. When his car was repossessed due to an administrative problem with his payments, Joseph’s Home social worker Rodney Dial helped him resolve the issue and get the vehicle back. Being at Joseph’s Home also allowed Mr. H. to try new things. Some of them—like attending his first Cavs basketball game thanks to a generous donor’s contribution of tickets—were a big hit. The art program was a slightly different story. For his first and only masterpiece, he tried his hand at painting a picture of a pumpkin. Although he enjoyed the experience, the painting didn’t turn out well. When asked about it, he laughed and said, “I can’t paint a lick.” But, he did receive a certificate for giving it his best shot. He said the encouragement from others was inspiring. Mr. H. was hospitalized again in January to repair a detached retina in his eye. After four months away from Joseph’s Home, he was re-admitted. Mr. H.’s health stabilized and he was approved for an apartment. He moved into his new home in late July, with a nurse visiting regularly to provide medical attention to keep his health stable. With the help of Joseph’s Home, he can look forward to fewer days in the hospital and a longer, healthier life. Click here to find out more about Joseph’s Home in the latest edition of the “Joseph’s Journey” newsletter. Joseph’s Home is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System.
November 28, 2012

Joseph’s Home featured in The Plain Dealer’s Holiday Spirit Campaign

For the second year in a row, Joseph’s Home was selected as one of several nonprofit groups to receive funds from Plain Dealer Charities’ Holiday Spirit Campaign. The designation includes a $10,000 gift to support programs and services for residents. Plus, a former Joseph’s Home resident is featured in a Holiday Spirit story, which was published today in The Plain Dealer. Joseph’s Home is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System. Following is the text from The Plain Dealer article: John Hall was driven by crack and cocaine—so driven, he lost his wife, children and job. Hall, 51, of Cleveland, said the murder of his father, curiosity and the influences of the streets had led him to drugs. He said he hoped the drugs would take away his pain. "I had a lot of problems, mentally and emotionally," he said. "I lost myself. I didn't know who I was." But Hall said pride prevented him from receiving help from his family, so instead he slept in parks and abandoned homes. And even when his reckless lifestyle led to four stints in prison, he didn't change his attitude. "I felt that there was no chance for me, that life was over for me," he said. In November 2011, Hall got into an argument with another man, who then got into his car and rammed it into Hall several times, pinning him between a parked car. Once his attacker sped away, Hall tried to get up, but it was impossible because his right foot was turned in the opposite direction, the heel of his foot now where his toes should have been. He passed out. A good Samaritan took him to MetroHealth Medical Center that night, but he had to wait two weeks before having surgery. His sister then tried to find him a place to stay while he recovered. Joseph’s Home meets a housing needThat's when Hall's sister found out about Joseph's Home. Joseph's Home is one of only two agencies in the state that provide transitional housing for homeless men who are suffering from acute medical conditions. Joseph's Home also helps residents find jobs, housing and other programs to help improve their lives. Joseph's Home is one of among 20 human-service agencies featured in Holiday Spirit, an annual effort by Plain Dealer Charities to help human-services agencies during the holiday season. To make a secure donation to this year's campaign, go to cleveland.com/holidayspirit. Hall had to make some changes: Joseph's Home requires residents to take part in a number of programs such as life-skills classes, chemical dependency programs and money management. Hall went further, however, enrolling in anger management, basic computer classes and intensive outpatient and after-care programs. He will start working toward earning a high-school equivalency degree in January. Hall shares his story with youths at the Cudell Recreation Center and packaged and served food on Thanksgiving at St. Augustine Church. Hall, who has been sober for a year, is grateful for the love and support of his mother and sister. He also credits the staff of Joseph's Home for changing his life. "These are the miracles God put in my path to have me be where I'm at today. I love where I am today," he said. "I have my own apartment, I'm looking for a job and I'm going back to school. Life has gotten good for me. I'm a miracle." Georgette Jackson, executive director of Joseph's Home, beams with pride when she talks about Hall. "I'm so proud of him," she said. "He wanted to succeed so badly. He wanted to change and make good choices." Pictured is Joseph’s Home alumnus John Hall, who has been sober for a year. He credits the staff of Joseph’s Home for changing his life. He now has his own apartment, is looking for work and will start working to get his GED in January. Behind him are pictures painted by Joseph’s Home residents.
November 21, 2012

South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families executive director participates in launch of national fatherhood initiative

The Center for Urban Families formally launched the National Practitioners' Leadership Institute (NPLI) at an October event at its headquarters in Baltimore, with Pat Littlejohn, executive director of the South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families, participating as part of a panel discussion at the launch event. NPLI is a national cohort-based initiative designed to improve outcomes for low-income fathers and families by strengthening the capacity of organizations and government agencies working in the responsible fatherhood and family strengthening. The launch introduced the first cohort of NPLI’s Leadership Academy and included remarks by Joshua DuBois, director of White House Office of Faith Based Neighborhood Partnership, among others. The NPLI works to promote the larger development and forward advancement of the human services field by fostering diverse venues for peer learning while establishing a broadened network of grassroots organizations dedicated to strengthening families and to providing quality services in responsible fatherhood, workforce development, and healthy relationship and marriage. The South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System. Pictured is Pat Littlejohn (middle) on the discussion panel at the launch of the National Practitioners' Leadership Institute.
November 19, 2012

South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families’ impact reaches across the state

The South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families and its local affiliated programs are making an impact across South Carolina. Below are highlights from a few of those local programs: A Father's Place receives $19,400 jobs grantThe Frances P. Bunnelle Foundation recently awarded a grant of $19,400 to A Father's Place to support a job coach and related job development activities. The job coach will coordinate the Job Boot Camp, which is a weeklong intensive job readiness training offered once a month, and work with fathers to help find employment and arrange transportation. “Helping fathers find a job that pays a living wage is a critical step in rebuilding men's lives and reestablishing relationships with their children" said Wallace Evans, executive director, A Father's Place. "With this grant we are one step closer to our goals.” Midlands Fatherhood Coalition participates in town hall meetingMidlands Fatherhood Coalition joined WIS-TV and Parenting Solo October 20 in Columbia, South Carolina, for a town hall style meeting called "Disappearing Dads: Rebuilding the Family." The meeting discussed the recurring theme of fatherless homes and the impact it has on children. Charles Brown, Midlands Fatherhood Coalition assistant director, and Ron Hilton, regional job developer, served on the panel to discuss the importance of fatherhood and how the Midlands Fatherhood Coalition works to reconnect fathers with their families. Pictured after the meeting are (left to right) Charles Brown, Ron Hilton, actor Michael Jai White, Pat Littlejohn, Jimmie Whaley. Man 2 Man helps fathers become job readyMan 2 Man has put 51 fathers through a weeklong Job Boot Camp and introduced them to its job readiness/job skills training component throughout the year. Program participants received employment certification and/or job training in a number of areas, such as national forklift certification, construction labor & OSHA certification, heavy equipment operations and GED training. By gaining job skills training and certification, these fathers are more qualified for jobs so they can provide for their children and take one step closer to a stable life. The South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System.
November 2, 2012

Healthy Learners 13th annual fundraising golf tournament is a big hit

Now in its 13th year, the annual Healthy Learners Champions for Children Golf Tournament in Memory of George Younginer continues to be the largest fundraiser for Healthy Learners. Thanks to 139 golfers, 34 volunteers and many generous sponsors, the October 17 golf outing at Fort Jackson Golf Club in Columbia, South Carolina, netted more than $86,000 for helping children access needed health care. The event featured a great day of golf, food, prizes and more, plus a golf driving demonstration by two-time World Long Drive Champion David Mobley. The tournament was presented by AFLAC and had dozens of additional sponsors. "Each year, proceeds from the golf tournament enable us to help hundreds of children all across South Carolina by providing them with health care services like vision care, dental care, and hearing evaluations," said Jo Pauling-Jones, executive director of Healthy Learners. We are grateful to our supporters and the community for investing in the health and future of the children." Healthy Learners, a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System, is devoted to removing children’s health barriers to learning with love and compassion. Pictured is one of several children from Healthy Learners who attended the event and interacted with golfers.
October 31, 2012

Building Healthy Communities offers free cooking classes for children, teens and moms

Building Healthy Communities hosts free four-week cooking classes for children, teens and moms in Cleveland’s Central and Kinsman neighborhoods to teach healthy eating habits, and how to prepare healthy meals and snacks. Twenty children recently completed Jr. Chef classes taught by Sharon Glaspie, director of Building Healthy Communities, at the new CornUcopia Place kitchen in Cleveland’s Kinsman neighborhood. The Jr. Chef classes, which Glaspie taught with the help of three members of the Garden Boyz, featured lessons on whole grains and high antioxidant foods. Jr. Chef students learned how to make muffins, pumpkin smoothies, turkey burgers and Halloween apple teeth using high antioxidant Red Delicious apples. “It’s important to reach children at an early age because healthy eating habits learned early in life help form the basis for developing a healthy adult lifestyle,” said Glaspie. Mom Chef classes begin Tuesday, November 6 at CornUcopia Place, where Glaspie will teach mothers how to prepare healthy meals that their children will enjoy. The free classes will run for four weeks every Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Contact Julia DiBaggio at 216-341-1455 to reserve a spot in the class or for more information. CornUcopia Place is a community space providing nutrition education, cooking demonstrations, an open event space to be shared with the neighborhood, and a harvest preparation facility for use by local market gardeners. Jr. Chef, Teen Chef and Mom Chef classes are also held on Mondays at Arbor Park Village in Cleveland’s Central neighborhood. Building Healthy Communities is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System. Pictured are participants in a recent Jr. Chef class, learning to make healthy whole grain muffins.
October 14, 2012

Division of Child Support Enforcement partners with South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families on $2 million grant

The Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement recently awarded the South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) Division of Child Support Enforcement (CSE) more than $2 million in a five-year grant to increase access to services for non-custodial parents who are behind in child support. The increased access will help non-custodial parents to consistently meet their child support obligations and provide for the financial wellbeing of their children. South Carolina was one of eight states to receive such a grant. The Center for Fathers and Families will be a major partner with the CSE on this project to help ensure that non-custodial parents are linked to employment opportunities, fatherhood programs and other community-based services. "With this grant we will bring ‘new eyes’ to the process and institutions involved with the fathers who owe child support," said Larry McKeown, CSE director. "We want to re-engineer business practices to make them more inclusive of fathers and their needs, such as ‘right sizing orders’ for child support and changing circumstances over time that affect ability to pay." Non-custodial parents will receive enhanced child support services, including help with modifying child support orders if necessary, possible reductions in child support debt owed to the state in return for consistent child support payments and finding alternatives to incarceration for enforcement; employment-oriented services that include job readiness, job placement and retention services; and responsible fatherhood/parenting activities using peer support. The project will help redefine the way child support cases are processed, and the way workforce and fatherhood services are delivered to low-income, non-custodial parents by making services more accessible and easier to navigate. The project will be launched in Bennettsville County, and the cities of Greenville, Conway/Georgetown and North Charleston. The SC Center for Fathers and Families and CSE have partnered on a number of projects over the years, including a planning grant that led to this grant, a project to help increase paternity establishment at the time a child is born, and to improve the pro se process for the modification of child support, including a new on-line interactive software and training video that is under development to help individuals navigate this process. Most notable has been the successful collaboration between CSE, the center and the family court to implement Jobs Not Jail, an alternative to incarceration for non-payment of child support. Jobs Not Jail has resulted in significant collection of child support that otherwise would not have been collected if non-custodial parents had been incarcerated. Equally as important, Jobs Not Jail has helped thousands of non-custodial parents find jobs, become responsible fathers and be involved in their children's lives. This new project will build upon this model that has been in place for more than a decade. The South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System.
October 10, 2012

South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families’ Dawn Pender wins Health Care Hero award

The Columbia Regional Business Report honored Dawn Pender, nurse practitioner for the South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families, with its Health Care Hero award for Nurses at an October 3 ceremony in Columbia, South Carolina. Dawn was one of 20 finalists recognized at the 2012 Heath Care Heroes awards in front of a crowd of more than 200 people. The awards recognize people in the Midlands health care industry who are making a difference and have a passion for helping others. Finalists were recognized in seven categories: community outreach, first responders, health care professional, health care researcher, nurse, physician and volunteer. The winner in each category received the most points from the judges, which Dawn did in the nurse category. Dawn provides health care services to fathers in three of the Center for Fathers and Families’ programs. She teaches fathers about men's health, substance abuse and many other health issues. She also performs health screenings and connects fathers in need with healthcare providers as part of the center’s access to healthcare component. The South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System.
October 5, 2012

Touchdowns for Fatherhood: South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families teams up with TD Bank

Football season is in full swing and the cries of "Go Gamecocks" resonate at Williams-Brice Stadium on the campus of the University of South Carolina. When the Gamecocks score, so does the South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families. TD Bank, in partnership with the Center for Fathers and Families, is making a donation to the center each time the Gamecocks score a touchdown. In addition to the touchdown donations, TD Bank has provided two tickets to every home game to a lucky fatherhood participant and his child. For a recent game against the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Lionel Williams (middle) and his son Jered Williams (right) received the two tickets. Jawaan Etheridge (left), a close friend of Jered's was also able to accompany the two. Lionel, a student at the University of South Carolina from 1982-1986, has attended several games over his lifetime, but this game in particular was extra special. "My son is a senior in high school and very busy. So those moments when we have some quality time together are few and far between," Lionel said. "For TD Bank to allow me to have that moment where we could just hang out together was just unbelievable." Lionel has been a participant of the Midlands Fatherhood Coalition for nearly a year now. The Midlands Fatherhood Coalition is one of six fatherhood programs throughout the state supported by the Center. The programs help fathers reconnect with their children and help meet the material, emotional and spiritual needs of their children. "Plain and simple, I would just like to say thank you to TD Bank for the tickets and the opportunity to enjoy a game with my son and his friend. I don't think they (TD Bank) understand how much this opportunity means for fathers like me, who are just trying to do the right thing, by being able to spend time and take care of my son," Lionel said. "I don't know if Jered realized the magnitude of the situation, but for me it was a very, very special night.” The South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System.

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