September 27, 2013

Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland honored for innovative housing and community development partnerships

The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), in partnership with the Council on Foundations, as one of 10 recipients of the Secretary’s Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships. The award honors philanthropic funders for their innovative public-philanthropic collaborations designed to address housing and community development challenges.

The awards were announced September 26, 2013, during the Council’s Fall Conference for Community Foundations in San Diego.

“We are excited and honored to receive this recognition,” said Susanna H. Krey, president of the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland. “The foundation is committed to improving the lives of those most in need, with special attention to families, women and children living in poverty. Since our inception in 1996, the foundation has focused on ending chronic homelessness by investing in strategies and solutions proven to work.

“The Housing First Initiative – which the foundation helped to convene in 2002 – has created more than 500 units with the dignity, permanence and comforts of home for individuals who had once experienced long-term homelessness. As a result, our community is well on its way to ending chronic homelessness, with a 62% reduction since 2006 when the first Housing First site opened.”

“The HUD award is a testament to the foundation’s belief that ending homelessness is possible when we work together toward a shared outcome. This honor is because of that collaboration, commitment and dedication to the vision.”

HUD and the Council on Foundations developed the award to recognize philanthropic organizations for enhancing the quality of life for low-income and moderate-income families. The projects addressed issues concerning housing and neighborhood improvements, education, health and recreation, transportation, arts and culture, public safety, sustainability and economic development. An expert panel selected the ten winners.

The Housing First Initiative of Cuyahoga County was convened in 2002 by the Sisters of Charity Foundation, in partnership with Enterprise Community Partners and the City of Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Office of Homeless Services, to develop a strategy to address long-term and chronic homelessness among single adults in Cuyahoga County —a problem that had reached crisis proportions.

The Housing First Initiative was established with the goal of producing 1,000 units of permanent supportive housing. The City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County were early and strong champions of the Initiative, making significant funding commitments, solidifying the public-private partnership from the beginning. Enterprise Community Partners continues to guide and coordinate the many partners of the Initiative, a role they have played since inception.

Today, there are 471 permanent supportive housing units across Cleveland, another 105 units slated to open this year and another 400 more in future years. Most significantly, since opening the first building in 2006, chronic homelessness in Cuyahoga County has decreased by 62%. With this success, the Initiative is working to end chronic homelessness among single adults, families and young people by 2020.

“These awards provide us all a moment to reflect on the good work that foundations are doing to advance communities across the country,” said Vikki Spruill, president and CEO of the Council on Foundations. “I am grateful to HUD and Secretary Donovan for recognizing the many different ways that foundations are thoughtfully responding to the needs of those around them.”

“It’s organizations like these that are doing the heavy lifting to improve neighborhoods, often without much thanks.  Today, we say ‘thank you!’” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan.  “These foundations are teaming up with public and private partners to bring about positive change and lasting solutions that are making a real difference in their communities.”

Learn more about the award recipients and the HUD Secretary’s Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships.

About the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland
The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland improves the lives of those most in need with special attention to families, women and children living in poverty. The foundation works to end homelessness in Cuyahoga County and to reduce health and education disparities in Cleveland’s Central Neighborhood. As a faith-based organization, the foundation extends the values of Jesus Christ through the mission of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine and also works to sustain the ministries of women religious. The Sisters of Charity of Cleveland was endowed in 1996 from the proceeds of a partnership involving St. Vincent Charity Medical Center. Previously, the sisters used the proceeds of the sale of Saint Ann Hospital in 1973 to endow the Saint Ann Foundation, the first health care conversion foundation in the United States. In 2006, the two foundations merged and blended their missions. For additional information, visit

About the Council on Foundations
The Council on Foundations (, formed in 1949, is a nonprofit membership association of grantmaking foundations and corporations. Council members include more than 1,700 independent, operating, community, public and company-sponsored foundations, and corporate giving programs in the United States and abroad. The Council’s mission is to provide the opportunity, leadership, and tools philanthropic organizations need to expand, enhance, and sustain their ability to advance the common good.

About the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers, meet the need for quality affordable rental homes, utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life, build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination, and transform the way HUD does business. Anyone who believes they have been the victim of discrimination should contact HUD at 800-669-9777 (voice) or 800-927-9275 (TTY). More information about HUD and its programs is available at and You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDnews, on Facebook at, or sign up for news alerts on HUD’s News Listserv.

About Us

From its Cleveland headquarters, the Sisters of Charity Health System provides oversight, leadership and strategic direction to more than 20 organizations responding to community needs in Canton and Cleveland, Ohio, and South Carolina.

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