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Stories From the Heart

Stories From the Heart

The Bridges Program

“Jim,” an unemployed janitor in his mid-fifties, started the Bridges Program by taking a pretest to determine his computer literacy. He scored two out of 100. His first exam score for Terminology/Word was 50%. Then he received an eye exam and glasses through our Vision Program. His motivation and confidence soared. His Excel exam score was 84% and his PowerPoint score was 82%. His post-test grade was 92 out of 100. After graduating from the class, he followed up on information he received in our Professional Development class about adult education opportunities. He stopped by in December to say he was starting at Chatfield College in January 2013 to earn his college degree.

Safety Net Clinic

One day in 2012, a homeless gentleman stopped by for some of the cough drops that the Nurse Practitioner (NP) keeps in St. John's Safety Net Clinic. She could tell that he needed more than a cough drop or two but he refused to let her see him that day. He did agree to come back the next day. She gave him the cough drops and expressed her concern for his health. He did come back the next day. The NP evaluated him and gathered his history. He appeared very ill. He couldn't keep food down. He had a history of bleeding ulcers and probably had pneumonia. He appeared anemic, dehydrated and malnourished. She convinced him that the hospital was the place for him. He was not easily convinced but, by showing him kindness and concern, he finally conceded. A member of St. John’s staff transported him to the hospital, where he was confirmed to have pneumonia, gastric ulcers, anemia and dehydration. The staff person stayed with the man until doctors evaluated him. He seemed frightened and uncertain. Once into the treatment area and settled, he was very appreciative of St. John's assistance. He was hospitalized for nearly seven days and spent 10 days at the Respite Center recovering. He had the residents and fellows call from the hospital to give updates to the St. John NP regarding his case. He stated she was the one who knew the most about his case. He has since visited the clinic and is doing well.

Social Services

A Mercy Health employee referred a client, who was homeless and living in her car, to St. John. The client’s son was receiving services at a Mercy Health hospital. The client had recently been in a homeless shelter after being evicted. The client was working and found an apartment but due to her eviction history, the landlord required her to pay an exceptionally large deposit. The client did not have enough income left to pay the first month's rent and the landlord would not give her the keys without it. We saw the client the same day she was referred here. We assisted with first month's rent funds and we gave the landlord a promissory note so that she could get the keys the next day. The client said that due to her homelessness and evictions she lost all of her furniture and household items. We assisted her with household items and new beds so that she and her son had a place to sleep. We also performed a benefits screening for her to determine her eligibility for mainstream benefits and also provided her with information on the Earned Income Tax Credit and free tax preparation.

Temporary Housing Program

Cincinnati’s centralized intake system for families in need referred a woman with six children to St. John's due to eviction from another housing program. The client was unable to pay Duke Energy and Greater Cincinnati Water Works bills in a timely manner and this led to her eviction from housing. St. John managed her case and connected her with the Goodwill Leasing Pool Program, which accepted her. The program pays her rent. The client established employment as a State Tested Nursing Assistant. She is saving half of her monthly income to pay off her past utility bills.

Youth Development Program

Young Woman: A 16-year-old young lady who lived in Over-the-Rhine joined the program after her Mom, a Bridges Program student, encouraged her to do so. Mom was concerned because her daughter was not following rules at home and not attending or doing well at school. Daughter became active in attending peer groups. We discussed topics such as education, anger management and good decision-making skills. Daughter began connecting with positive peers. Daughter was able to graduate from high school on time, which had been a concern. She now works part time in daycare, lives independently and attends Chatfield College majoring in early child development.

Young Man: One of the parents who signed up for St. John's seasonal Circle of Giving program was so happy to be able to participate in this Christmas program that she came to tears thanking God for the Youth Coordinator. Before he called her to schedule the appointment, she had just got word that she was losing her income. She didn’t know how she could provide a Christmas for her children. Thanks to her son participating in the Young Men’s Program, she was eligible for St. John’s assistance to match her with a donor who provided Christmas gifts for her entire family.

No matter what size your gift, you can help give someone hope for a better life. Thank you.


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