• 2020 Spring Grants Announced
  • Courageous Healing Connects SE Fort Wayne
  • HEAL Farm Markets Open in July
  • COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants
Access to Quality, Affordable Healthcare
Spring 2020 Grantee: Headwaters Counseling has served Allen County families since 1873. With a spring 2020 grant from the St. Joe Foundation, the agency transitioned its services to “tele-therapy”, to safely reach more clients, as shown by Vanessa Jones, LMHC, Director of Clinical Services.
Foundation Update:
Spring Grants to 40 Agencies Announced
40 grants totaling $352,919 have been awarded since January 1, 2020 by the St. Joe Foundation to local agencies with expertise in serving poor and vulnerable populations.

According to Meg Distler, Executive Director of the St. Joe Foundation, "As a Catholic Ministry sponsored by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, we are very intentionally focused on serving the "Poor" who are powerless, dismissed, without resources, or considered lesser in society. We have also researched the community's most vulnerable populations, and are specifically interested in supporting programming that reaches these "Poor" who are significantly underserved."

Last fall, the St. Joe Foundation approved a plan to focus support in 2020 to advance programs in the following areas:

  • Prenatal & Infant Care: Help pregnant women, new fathers, and infants (especially Black individuals and those living in 46806) to have access to free or low-cost quality care and resources, enabling them to be supported through a healthy pregnancy, birth, and first year of life, inspiring hope for their future.
  • Access to Affordable, Quality Healthcare: Assist lower income and uninsured residents to have access to free or low-cost, quality healthcare.
  • Refugees & Immigrants: Help ensure immigrants are welcomed with dignity and assisted in accessing healthcare and other critical resources.
  • Nutrition & Food Insecurity: Vulnerable, food-insecure individuals access nutritious food with dignity, and empower them to build their own sustainability.

Each of these 40 spring grantees proposed programming that advanced these goals:
Access to Quality, Affordable Healthcare
Janell and Aaron Lane, co-founders of Courageous Healing, Inc .
Grantee Spotlight:
Courageous Healing, Inc.
In 2019, Aaron and Janell Lane launched a new not-for-profit called Courageous Healing, Inc. The Lanes, born and raised on Fort Wayne's southeast side, wanted to establish an access point for quality mental health care for populations who historically have not had access or have had poor experiences upon accessing services. Janell, who has a master's degree and is a licensed mental health counselor, explained their vision. "We will create a warm and supportive environment in which our clients feel safe tapping into their inner strength, unlocking, building upon, and utilizing the skills that they already possess, to achieve the changes they want to see manifest in their lives. We recognize that doing this kind of work takes COURAGE."

The St. Joe Foundation provided an initial grant of $20,000 to help launch the services for clients who are uninsured and unable to pay. In the first year, 42 clients participated in one of the Restorative Trauma Intervention (RTI) groups. A pre and post-survey of the clients detailed the positive impact. Before the RTI, only 14% had "High Hope," and afterward, 50% had "High Hope" for their future. Likewise, a measurement of "Safety and Well-Being" showed an improvement from 50% to 75% feeling "Extremely Safe & Secure."
Access to Food & Nutrition
The 2020 HEAL Farm Market located in the parking lot of Parkview Greenhouse & Learning Kitchen will offer fresh local produce to the community on Thursday evenings in July and August. SNAP and WIC vouchers will be matched $1 for $1, doubling the amount of produce families can purchase.
Foundation Collaboration:
HEAL Farm Markets Open after 4th of July Week-End
HealthVisions Fort Wayne will operate the 2020 HEAL Farm Markets with a grant from the St. Joe Foundation and Parkview Health. Sharon Tubbs, Director of the HealthVisions Fort Wayne office, will oversee the farm markets. Previously, Sharon served as the Community Liaison on the HEAL Leadership Team. This year, Sharon and her team will be updating the markets to assure they are safe per CDC recommendations and COVID-19 social distancing standards. The farm markets will feature most of the same farmers, and again offer the unique feature of doubling the value of WIC produce vouchers and SNAP purchases. For updated information on daily market openings and weather shifts, please check the HEAL Facebook page.
Opens July 8
McCormick Place
3005 McCormick Ave.
Opens July 9
Parkview Greenhouse and Learning Kitchen
1716 Beacon St.
Opens July 11
South Side Farmers Market
3300 Warsaw St.
Responding to Community Needs during COVID-19
Spring 2020 Grantee: Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry has a mission of making a positive impact by providing nutritious meat (protein) to hunger relief agencies within Indiana,
"Meating the need, one pound at a time." Above is a delivery to Shepherd's House.
Foundation Update:
COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants
Our community has seen many emerging needs due to the COVID pandemic, and to date, the St. Joe Foundation has responded with over $100,539 in Rapid Response Grants to 24 local agencies, funding many of these urgent needs, such as assistance with telemedicine, infant supplies (diapers/formula), and providing for emergency food and aid.

To help ensure that nutritious food is available for at-risk, lower income individuals, St. Joe Foundation is especially interested in supporting programming that builds food systems focused on serving vulnerable populations. This included a COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant of $5,000 to Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry , to assist them with the processing fees on donated pigs. It costs approximately $200 to process the meat from a pig, and this meat is then donated to local hunger relief agencies. Many local pig farmers were able to donate pigs to this effort when local slaughter houses were closed due to the pandemic.

$5,000 was also awarded to Heartland Communities , enabling them to hire staff to help distribute 1,000 - 1,500 large, family-size boxes of produce to those in need through mid-December. $1,500 was awarded to St. Mary's Soup Kitchen , to help supplement their budget to provide a hot meal to many in the community in need of nourishment.

Amy Saleik, Grants Management & Project Coordinator for St. Joe Foundation, explained that both of these agencies are also well-positioned to help advance one of the Foundation’s goals: “Vulnerable, food-insecure individuals are enabled to access nutritious food with dignity and assisted with strategies to empower them to build their own sustainability.”
$100,539 in COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants Awarded
through June 10, 2020
Spring 2020 COVID Grantees: (Top Row) Heartland Communities, Inc . has helped to assemble and distribute "family food boxes" with fresh produce. (Bottom Row) St. Mary's Soup Kitchen is feeding on average 150 people per day with soup, bread and milk.
  A ministry sponsored by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ.
Contact  |  Prenatal & Infant  |  HEAL   |  Grants