St. John Center has provided day services for homeless men in the Louisville area since 1986.The agency's mission is to create an atmosphere that encourages homeless men to envision a life of hope, take shelter, and move forward. We accomplish this by treating each person with dignity and respect, and supporting them in addressing the problems that lead to homelessness.
Open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., St. John Center serves as many as 200 clients daily.
Early one mild fall Monday, six homeless men waited on the steps outside St. John Center. It was 6:30 a.m., a half hour before the doors would open.
They were patient and said they had spent the night in shelters, or outside under viaducts – “the city at large,” as one of them put it with a wave of his arm toward the horizon.
None of them were talkative. “I don’t want my family to know I’m homeless,” said a man in a gray T-shirt and jeans who came up and stood beside the others on the sidewalk. “I’m not proud of it.”
But they said with nods and a few words that they were glad they had St. John Center to come to and rely on when they needed it.
Open seven days a week, the emergency day shelter and social services center provides:
access to hot showers, restroom facilities, hot coffee and cold water, local and long distance telephone service, mail service and fax service
Also available to homeless clients are:
notary public service, job and housing referrals, assistance filling out food stamp and, disability claims, assistance acquiring birth certificates, identification letters for regular clients, mental health counseling
In the last twelve months, St. JohnCenter served 2,142 individual men who visited the shelter 63,743 times (up 1% from 2010).
A residential recovery program is offered to homeless men who identify drug or alcohol abuse as a primary factor in becoming homeless. The program is made possible through a partnership with Phoenix Health Center and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
St. John Center pays for transitional housing while the men learn sober-living skills, increase their education or job skills, and prepare to move to permanent housing with sobriety and a steady source of income. The program works with seven men at a time to provide intensive case management services. Last year, six men graduated from the program.
“Last year I spent Christmas sleeping under a viaduct. This year we’re going to spend part of Christmas day at my apartment, me and my son.” Dan
The permanent supportive housing program helps men obtain and maintain safe, decent, affordable housing by subsidizing rent and providing the daily or weekly support of a social worker.
In partnership with Metro Louisville Housing and Family Services, St. John Center placed 28 homeless men in permanent supportive housing in 2009. Another 53 men continue to thrive in housing they received with our HUD and community-funded programs.
SJC helped Joe get back to ‘normal’
Joe first came to St. John Center on March 16, 2011. Two years later he came back, this time to thank St. John Center staff or helping him gain control of his life. A couple of years earlier Joe was struggling. Recently released from prison, he was battling bi-polar disorder which causes periods of euphoria lasting four to five days followed by a couple of weeks More
This is Al’s blog. Al has decided to take the brave journey to live a clean and sober life. He is part of the residential recovery program at St. John Center for Homeless Men and will be sharing the good, the bad and the ugly: real life from the heart of a changing man.
November 09, 2011
I would like to thank everybody who has participated in my journey. And I hope I helped some people along the way. As this will be my last entry, I want to thank St. John Center for their help as I could not have done this on my own. In reflecting back over the last [...]