HYANNIS — Thanks to the generosity of more than 30 donors — individuals, parishes, organizaations and foundations — the challenge grant issued by the George and Marie Chabot Foundation’s Trustees to benefit St. Joseph’s House Shelter has been exceeded. Contributions will ultimately provide more than $150,000 over the next four years that will strengthen the capacity for St. Joseph’s House in Hyannis to provide services to the area’s homeless. This ministry of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Fall River (formerly Catholic Social Services) not only provides shelter, but also provides through its Day Program important resources and skill-building services for men and women of all ages who are currently or formerly homeless, or at risk for homelessness.
Donors from across the diocese answered the call Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., the Catholic Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts, and Catholic Charities sounded to contribute to the match. Lead contributions toward the effort came from the Arethusa Charitable Fund of the Cape Cod Foundation and Wagner Foundation’s Good Neighbor Fund. “We are so grateful to all those who were moved to join with us in supporting this incredible opportunity. From Cape Cod, Attleboro to Fall River, Mansfield to Somerset, Taunton to West Wareham, and more — contributions of all sizes came together to help meet this goal. We launched the effort during a season of giving, and the faithful in the Diocese of Fall River widened their own circles of giving to help others in need. We are indeed blessed,” reflected Miriam Finn Sherman, CEO of the Catholic Foundation.
An Our Lady of the Assumption (Osterville) parishioner who asked to remain anonymous shared, “Our Lady of the Assumption, Our Lady of Victory, and Our Lady of Hope Churches on Cape Cod work together coordinating dinners throughout the year for St. Joseph’s House. Among many other parishioners, I have volunteered to help with these meals. When I heard about the match opportunity to support St. Joseph’s House, I was happy to contribute. I have seen firsthand the important work that St. Joseph’s House does in our community.”
Deploying these funds to improve the staffing, equipment, and furnishings at St. Joseph’s House as well as support the program’s operations and its Winter Overflow response is immediate. “After a year of uncertainty and upheaval of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been able to maintain an eye on the future that restores hope and improved experience for our shelter/Day Program guests thanks to the funds from this initiative,” said Chief Operating Officer, Happiness Nosike-Unaka. “We are deeply grateful to the frontline staff at St. Joseph’s House Shelter for their hard work and dedication to ensure that our guests are well prepared and supported as they navigate through their unique circumstances and challenges. But most important,” continued Nosike-Unaka, “is that our guests show great resilience to endure and live in spite of their adverse conditions. As an agency, we are dedicated to meeting the unique needs of those facing homelessness and housing insecurity.”
St. Joseph’s House addresses a critical need for men and women who are, or are at risk of becoming, un-housed on Cape Cod. Those donors supporting this effort are helping to uphold that “there will be a shelter to give shade from the heat by day, and refuge and protection from the storm and the rain” (Is 4:6).