August 28, 2018

Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton collaborates to create safe, stable places

The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton has been involved with homelessness since 1997. In the past few years, its efforts have ramped up significantly, with homelessness now addressed via a foundation-led initiative requiring long-term funding, support, staff involvement, and evaluation.

At its August meeting, the Sisters of Charity Foundation Board welcomed special guests Commissioner Janet Weir Creighton, board chair of the Homeless Continuum of Care of Stark County, and Marcie Bragg, executive director of Stark Housing Network.

On Stark Housing Network’s website, it states: “No one should experience homelessness. No one should be without a safe, stable place to call home.” At the meeting, Bragg said, “Without that safe, stable place to call home, no interventions will get someone’s life back on track. No single organization can solve the problem alone. It’s a complex, community-wide challenge that requires a closely coordinated collaborative effort from many organizations.”

In 2017, Stark County received more than $3 million in federal funding for homelessness. Stark Housing Network serves as the collaborative applicant that applies for federal funding on behalf of the multiple organizations serving Stark County. Along with the challenges of addressing homelessness, the network develops policies and procedures that meet a detailed set of U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requirements. The network prioritizes homelessness programs, makes funding recommendations to HUD and monitors the funding that is distributed.

Funding is typically directed toward two kinds of projects:

  • Permanent supportive housing is for the most vulnerable chronically homeless people. It pairs housing with longer-term case management and supportive services.
  • Rapid rehousing is for those who need help exiting homelessness, but don't need intensive and ongoing supports.

Local funders, including the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton, have invested significantly in efforts to meet the needs of Stark County’s homeless individuals. Bragg said she is grateful for the difference those funders make. She thanked the foundation board, saying, “I can see the impact that the Sisters of Charity Foundation has had on homelessness. I don’t know where we would be without their work. It means a lot to all of us.”

The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System.

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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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