March 28, 2019
Every ten years, the United States conducts a Census, which provides an official count of the U.S. population and information about demographic changes that occurred over the past ten years. An accurate count is essential for the fair distribution of political representation and federal assistance. Historically, the census missed a disproportionately high percentage of “hard-to-count” individuals, which include immigrants, families with children under 5, racial minorities (especially Latinos, Asian Americans, Hawaiians & Pacific Islanders, African Americans, and American Indians & Alaskan Natives). This leads to inequality in access to public funding and political power. It was estimated that in the 2010 Census, Missouri forfeited $1,200 of federal assistance for every person undercounted, of which 9% of the 2010 population was considered hard-to-count, and lost a congressional seat as a result. This year things are changing, the census will be conducted online for the first time ever, and there may be a question about immigration status on the census. The Daughters of Charity Foundation of St. Louis is invested in coordinating efforts with other organizations to reach these hard-to-count individuals to help ensure a more just and equitable outcome for those most vulnerable. Please take a moment to look at the following fact sheet about the Census. Get educated and spread the word.
Why Census is Important: https://www.census.gov/partners/2020.html
Hard-To-Count Interactive Map: https://www.censushardtocountmaps2020.us/
Counting for Dollars: https://gwipp.gwu.edu/sites/g/files/zaxdzs2181/f/downloads/Missouri%20CFD%2008-18-17.pdf
February 20, 2019
After months, and even years, of service to their country, veterans return home to family and civilian life; for some, the transition can be difficult. Many return with physical scars, and almost a quarter return with emotional and mental scars as well. In deployment, soldiers experience very long periods of extended absence from comfort, security, families, and breaks. When it comes time to return home, these veterans need well-deserved time to adjust and adapt once again to both civilian life and family life. Even if away for a couple of months, family life can become unfamiliar to the veteran. Everyone matures naturally, but independent of each other, and the veteran has to reintegrate to the family’s life, and vice versa. In some cases, as a result of combat stress, brain injuries from IEDs, repeated deployments, and rising use of drugs and alcohol, soldiers return from service to find themselves homeless. Self-respect is diminished, with the loss of a home, job, or family. So where can these veterans go who return to a world they no longer know and to a family who no longer recognizes them?
Missouri Veterans Endeavor (“MOVE”) is a community for homeless veterans and their families, where veterans live among their peers in a secure and sober environment with on-site counseling services available 24/7. The long-term supportive housing service consists of twenty-one, two-bedroom units, and the support to overcome barriers to find a home for a better future. Currently, MOVE is home to twenty-five veterans, three veteran spouses, and eight children/dependents on the site and in a few apartments scattered throughout the community. MOVE’s mission is to provide housing to at-risk and homeless veterans and their families.
Every veteran that comes to MOVE works with a caseworker to develop an individualized action plan for themselves and their families to address their specific obstacles and goals. For those veterans who are seeking employment, staff assist with their resumes, tracking down job leads, interviewing techniques, and appropriate appearance and engagement for a particular job opportunity. Some veterans may already be in the workforce, so along with their families, they receive help with more incremental objectives, such as school enrollment or after school activities for their children. MOVE also provides sobriety support, family or individual therapy, and/or group therapy/activities for those veterans who may need more mental health support. The goal of MOVE’s case managers is to work with struggling veterans to rediscover their sense of purpose through healthy, independent living. MOVE also recognizes the need for veterans and their families to have fun, so they host field trips and outside events like kayaking, movie days, trips to the zoo and museums, sporting events, singing class, and art programs. Community service projects are offered throughout the year to give veterans a sense of purpose and optimism through giving back to their community.
The capable staff at MOVE reinforces camaraderie and friendship. The veteran is encouraged to find activities to get involved to find her/his sense of purpose again. As one veteran stated, “I’m currently in school working to become a music teacher. I don’t know where I would be without MOVE.” For more information about Missouri Veterans Endeavor, please visit their website: www.move-stl.org.
December 14, 2017
Deaconess Nurse Ministry is an organization devoted to improving and promoting the health and well-being of the St. Louis community. This organization is dedicated to advocating for the voiceless and marginalized in the healthcare system. This mission can be seen through their work serving older adults living in impoverished parts of our community.
Through their Senior Health Faith Community Nurse Program, Deaconess is committed to improving the quality of life and empowering older adults in the St. Louis community to remain in their homes. The program utilizes an innovative approach that goes beyond caring simply for individual’s physical well-being but promotes health of the body, mind, and spirit of older adults. This unique program emphasizes the importance of community and meets clients where they are, performing services in familiar community locations such as soup kitchens and food pantries. This emphasis on community helps build trust between clients and their “community nurse” as the registered nurses in this program are known. Community nurses work within community places to promote access to healthcare services to high-risk older adults. Soup kitchens and food pantries are vital outreach locations because the low-income older adults who use these services are twice as likely to have diabetes, high blood pressure, and mental health concerns. Without effective screening, education, and referrals, low-income older adults often struggle with isolation and lack proper treatment. Community nurses address this need by providing consistent, easy to understand health screenings and education to empower older adults to remain in their home safely and independently as long as possible.
Each community nurse takes the time to truly listen and understand their client so that they are able to provide the best quality of care and services. Nurses act as educator, caregiver, and advocate to ensure that the person’s mental, physical, and spiritual needs are addressed. Clients in this program receive much needed social service referrals to support them in remaining independent in their home. Community nurses teach about topics personalized to individual needs such as medication administration, disease management, nutrition, and healthy lifestyle choices. Through this education, individuals are empowered to take control of their own wellbeing and are better able to lead healthy, independent lives. Taking the time to provide education has proven to be highly successful with 96% of clients able to demonstrate compliance with their medications and 83% able to demonstrate knowledge of their disease process. Support is ongoing with the community nurse visiting at least twice a month, as well as receiving a phone call each week. Care is provided for a minimum of three months or until individual healthcare goals are reached. Through their Senior Health Faith Community Nurse Program Deaconess Faith Community Ministries serves about 360 older adults annually and hope to continue to touch more lives through this impactful program.
For more information about Deaconess Faith Community Nurse Ministries please visit their website: www.faithnurses.org
September 25, 2017
The St. Louis New American Alliance, has launched its New American Hotline available Monday-Friday 8am-4pm to connect immigrants & refugees to service providers! The number is 314-277-5824. Questions can be asked via call or text. The hotline is also available via Whatsapp. Right now, answers are only available in English, Spanish, and French. However, they hope to add additional language capacity soon!
February 27, 2017
The Daughters of Charity Foundation of St. Louis has been actively engaged in supporting organizations that help immigrants and refugees with the many challenges of their new lives in America. In the spring of 2014, the Daughters of Charity Foundation of St. Louis, Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis, and the Saint Louis Mental Health Board hosted three gatherings to convene area provider groups serving immigrants and refugees. The purpose was threefold: to strengthen the work provided to our region’s aspiring Americans by increasing the networking and relationships among professionals and key stakeholders; to enhance understanding of the gaps in safety net provisions available; and encourage proactive planning to prepare the community for changes to the nation’s immigration policies. The gatherings confirmed that efforts underway to serve this population were increasing as new programs were being introduced resulting in knowledge gaps about available resources. The outcome of these gatherings was the formation of an all-volunteer community-based group of concerned professionals and citizens known as Immigrant Service Provider Network or ISPN.
With nearly thirty members, ISPN has since formalized its structure by identifying executive committee leadership, creating bylaws, and forming working groups. Since 2015, this all-volunteer network has developed membership support and strategic outreach, started a resource directory, implemented a community education and enrollment outreach designed to explain the DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents) and DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) programs. Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates (MIRA) serves as the primary convener and fiscal conduit for project activities. With MIRA’s support, ISPN has offered free of charge educational clinics to help prepare immigration documents and delivered webinars on topics including Immigration 101, employment, and DAPA training. The coalition also created a website and developed education materials.
The funder collaborative between Daughters of Charity Foundation of St. Louis and Lutheran Foundation continues to support the staff position at MIRA assigned to actively support ISPN outreach as well as host for the ISPN work groups. The collaborative between MIRA and the ISPN participants has led to a leadership development strategy to strengthen member and volunteer capacities for effective action. In 2016, approximately 450 immigrants and refugees living in the St. Louis region received assistance as a result of ISPN’s collaborative work.
For more information on Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates (MIRA) & Immigrant Service Providers Network (ISPN) please visit the following website