June 2001

Mission & Ministry Fund Project Grants 2001


CAMINOS Pathways Learning Center (associated with the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas) San Francisco, Calif. CAMINOS Pathways Learning Center $125,000 The Mission District of San Francisco, Calif., is a predominantly Spanish-speaking community that is home to a large population of immigrants who are at low or extremely low income levels. Recently immigrated women often live in crowded, substandard housing and scrape together their families’ survival with a patchwork of domestic work, other types of day labor and help from their extended families. Because of their immigrant status, these women are often not eligible for public welfare or welfare-to-work job training programs. CAMINOS Pathways Learning Center aims to interrupt the cycle of poverty and isolation for these women and their families with training, education and job support programs. The center’s computer skills training enables unemployed or underemployed immigrant women to move from manual or service labor to office and technology-based work. In addition, the center helps immigrants learn to run small businesses and other economic development ventures more efficiently through the use of computers and the Internet. With the grant, the center will be able to expand its programs and services to ensure that women immigrants in the Mission District benefit from the information technology revolution. Faithful Fools Street Ministry (associated with the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls, Minn.) San Francisco, Calif. Street Ministry $112,000 (over two years) San Francisco, Calif., is a city of 750,000 people, nearly 15,000 of them homeless. High rental costs and a decreasing supply of affordable housing are driving increasing numbers of people to the streets. The Faithful Fools street ministry, formed two years ago in the city’s Tenderloin District, aims to shatter myths about people who live in poverty; to provide opportunities for the homed and the homeless to discover their common humanity; and, with this discovery, to open the possibility for social change. The grant will help the Faithful Fools fulfill their ministry of presence, which is expressed through daily accompaniments and street retreats. In daily accompaniments, Faithful Fools walk the streets with homeless individuals to provide support, counseling and emergency supplies and to help them complete applications and navigate the bureaucracy of social services. Street retreats offer the opportunity for individuals from various backgrounds and faiths to spend time on the streets and bear witness to the poverty and deprivation that exists there, followed by time for reflection and personal action. Franciscan Villa South Milwaukee, Wis. Improv/Alzheimer’s Training Project $25,000 While she helped care for her father during his struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease, Karen Stobbe, who has an extensive background in improvisational theater, discovered that the skills used in improvisational acting are similar to those used in Alzheimer’s care giving, such as listening, validation, accepting others’ realities, problem solving and creativity. With Stobbe as director, this project will create a training program that will use methods of improvisation to help Alzheimer’s caregivers deal respectfully and compassionately with the stressful situations they encounter every day. The six-hour training program will be able to stand alone or be integrated into existing training programs, and will be piloted at four long-term care facilities in southeastern Wisconsin, including Franciscan Villa; Luther Manor; Jewish Home and Care Center; and Village Adult Services. The project will also develop a Web site to offer information on new techniques for Alzheimer’s caregiving. The project hopes to enhance the quality of care for individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease; increase the job and personal satisfaction of caregivers; and affirm that the caregivers’ work is a ministry to the people they serve. Good Samaritan Hospital Dayton, Ohio Community-wide Changes in Asthma Care Systems $81,750 (over three years) Montgomery County, which includes Dayton, Ohio, has one of the highest rates of asthma in the state. In addition, more than 70 percent of asthma sufferers believe the medical community should provide more public education on asthma causes, prevention and treatment. As the provider of the only community-based, adult asthma self-management program in the area, Good Samaritan Hospital will take the lead in uniting a number of organizations and agencies as the Montgomery County Asthma Coalition. The coalition will pursue four goals: to coordinate asthma-related activities to enhance their effectiveness and to promote collaboration; to increase the number of health care providers that are aware of National Asthma Education and revention Program guidelines as well as community and self-help resources for asthma; to increase the proportion of individuals with asthma who receive formal patient education; and to create a system of identifying individuals who visit Good Samaritan’s community-based clinics, homeless clinic and emergency department with asthma difficulties so that they can be offered personalized consultations regarding asthma control. Mercy Foundation Des Moines, Iowa Mercy Hospice Bereavement Improvement Initiative $42,732 (over three years) Since it opened in July 2000, Mercy Hospice, a six-bed facility in Johnston, Iowa, has served 120 inpatients, far more than anticipated. This raised the number of patients expected to be served within the Mercy Hospice facility and Mercy’s home-based hospice program during the 2001 fiscal year to 360. The increase in patients has trained the ability of Mercy Hospice to provide bereavement care, including a year of follow-up care, to surviving caregivers and family members. The grant will be used to initiate an organized series of activities designed to improve access to and the delivery of bereavement care. These activities will include specialized memorial services; the compilation and distribution of customized information packets; mailings sent to the bereaved at appropriate intervals; a series of monthly “grief connection” lunches and dinners; and comprehensive bereavement volunteer and support group training. A survey that will be completed by bereaved individuals following their year of service from Mercy Hospice will help evaluate the program. Nazareth Arts for Life (associated with the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth) Nazareth, Ky. Building a Healthy Community Through the Arts $99,000 (over three years) The Nazareth Arts for Life program, sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, was founded in 1993 to provide opportunities for individuals and groups to participate in the arts as a means of wellness and life-long growth and development. The grant will enable the expansion of the program to include a community artist who will create and coordinate a program that will promote a healthy community through the arts. The community artist will work with organizations such as the Bardstown/Nelson County Black Citizens Arts Council, the Family Youth Resource Center, Concerned Parents and others to address the area’s diverse populations of Central and South Americans, African Americans and Asians as well as the young, the aged and the economically challenged. Nazareth Arts for Life will also provide a coordinator of arts programming designed to help build a healthy community, which will include music in nursing homes; music lessons for economically challenged youth; visual arts for health promotion; a public art project; and community gatherings for cultural expression. Our Lady of the Way Hospital Martin, Ky. Parenting Program $150,000 (over three years) During the last two years, demand for the parenting classes offered by Our Lady of the Way Hospital has increased 700 percent. As one of only two facilities in a five-county area that offer arenting classes, Our Lady of the Way will expand its program to accommodate at-risk individuals referred by collaborating agencies, including the family court system in Floyd and Knott Counties; the Division of Protection and Permanency —Cabinet for Families and Children; Big Sandy Spouse Abuse Shelter; Floyd County Family Resource and Youth Services Centers; and Mountain Comprehensive Care Center. The parenting program will add a staff member, offer two additional classes each week and reduce referral turnaround time by 50 percent. The goal of the parenting classes is to empower parents with tools that will replace undesirable interactions between parents and children with more desirable interactions; and to enhance learning, self-reliance and the ability to be productive members of society. Participants undergo an evaluation, attend a total of 12 classes and complete an evaluation designed by Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky. Riverview Place Fargo, N.D. Giving + Learning Program $115,900 (over three years) In the Fargo, N.D., area, there is currently no program that specifically addresses the problem most consistently faced by the growing senior population: the loss of identity and purpose that goes along with retirement and aging. These feelings can result in low self-esteem and increasing isolation, which can lead to early institutionalization and increased medical costs. The Giving + Learning Program will combat this problem by giving seniors, including the residents of Riverview Place, the opportunity to help develop the future assets of the community. They will do this by serving as teachers and mentors to refugees and New Americans who need instruction in basic English language skills and advice about how to adapt to the culture of the workplace. After the refugees and New Americans have learned these skills, they can train for jobs such as certified nurse assistant and home health aide, helping to meet the community’s needs for health care providers. The Giving + Learning program will be an extension of the highly successful Fargo/Moorhead communiversity program, which offers non-credit liberal arts courses and events for adults and families at various sites in the community, including Riverview Place. Saint Elizabeth Foundation Lincoln, Neb. Red in Motion $86,450 (over three years) The prevalence of obesity has steadily increased in all age groups during the past 20 years, and one in four children in the United States is now overweight. While obesity itself is a major health problem, it can also lead to other concerns such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and orthopedic problems. The Red in Motion program will provide overweight elementary school children in Lincoln, Neb., with individualized exercise and nutrition plans to enable them to develop healthier lifestyles. The program is called Red in Motion because red is the color associated with the athletic department at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, a nationally recognized powerhouse in several sports. Students from the university’s exercise physiology program will serve internships as mentors to the children who enter the program. The interns will visit the children in their homes to provide exercise and nutrition plans, continuous monitoring and positive reinforcement. Nursing officials with the Lincoln Public Schools will help select one elementary school that will provide program participants, and another that will serve as a comparison school for the purpose of gauging the program’s success. St. Catherine’s Residence North Bend, Ore. Not Now, Not Here, Not Anymore: Not in Our Neighborhoods, Schools, Workplace or Community $180,999 (over three years) Coos County, Ore., an area depressed by the decline of the timber and fishing industries, has the highest rate of methamphetamine use in the United States. The abuse of methamphetamines has had a profound effect on child abuse, crime and domestic violence in the county. During 2000, sexual abuse in the county increased 33 percent, domestic violence increased 30 percent and child abuse increased 134 percent. In addition, nearly 80 percent of more than 250 children are in foster care and residential treatment programs because one or both of their parents are addicted to methamphetamines. With the grant, the Coos County Methamphetamine Committee will develop collaborative strategies to reduce the impact and severity of methamphetamine abuse. The project will utilize two methodologies to be implemented by a full-time methamphetamine abuse prevention and intervention coordinator: education and training for the community and coordinated effort among social service providers. All of the committee’s efforts will be aimed at creating a “zero tolerance” atmosphere toward methamphetamine use in the parks, businesses, neighborhoods and schools of Coos County. St. Joseph Health Ministries Lancaster, Pa. Health Ministry Initiatives $51,689 Through this grant, St. Joseph Health Ministries will partner with Church of the Apostles to develop and pilot a new health ministry model within the congregation. While the church’s parish nurse plays an integral role in overall health promotion, the new model will take a team approach to using other church ministries, such as the youth ministry, to promote health. The goal of this initiative is to promote holistic health across the lifespan based on the needs of the congregation, which will be identified through a survey. After the assessment is complete, the initiative will create specific programming, such as behavioral modification classes or support systems for individuals who face life-threatening illnesses. With the support of the strong spiritual arm of the church, the initiative expects to realize an overall improvement in health and healing within the congregation, resulting in a better overall quality of life. St. Joseph Health Ministries already uses outcomes engineering to measure the growth, successes and challenges faced by its existing programs, and will incorporate the health ministry model into that process for continuous evaluation and refinement.