New Friar center houses 7 organizations serving the homeless

Lynn Burkhardt, R.N. TriHealth Outreach Ministries; Laurie Derks Nelson, CEO, Center for Respite Care; Carey Powell, executive director, Mary Magdalen House; Fr. Mark Soehner, OFM Provincial; Fr. William Farris, OFM Vicar; Christine Schuermann, executive director, St. Francis Seraph Ministries; Pastor John Suguitan, executive director, Welcome Home Collaborative; Megan Fischer, executive director Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank; Elaine Ward, executive director Franciscan Ministries’ Haircuts from the Heart

Lynn Burkhardt, R.N. TriHealth Outreach Ministries; Laurie Derks Nelson, CEO, Center for Respite Care; Carey Powell, executive director, Mary Magdalen House; Fr. Mark Soehner, OFM Provincial; Fr. William Farris, OFM Vicar; Christine Schuermann, executive director, St. Francis Seraph Ministries; Pastor John Suguitan, executive director, Welcome Home Collaborative; Megan Fischer, executive director, Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank; Elaine Ward, executive director, Franciscan Ministries’ Haircuts from the Heart

The dream of a single, central location for organizations leading the fight on homelessness became a reality in December when the Franciscan Friars opened St. Anthony Center on Vine Street in the heart of Over-the-Rhine.

The center, adjacent to historic St. Francis Seraph Church and Friary, will house seven organizations that serve the region’s most vulnerable citizens. It continues the mission of the Friars, who have ministered to the poor and marginalized in the community since 1844.

“The St. Anthony Center is our continuing commitment to our community. The Friars’ vision is about the provision of love, care, compassion and healing to our most vulnerable people”

“The St. Anthony Center is our continuing commitment to our community. The Friars’ vision is about the provision of love, care, compassion and healing to our most vulnerable people,” said Toni Cashnelli, communications director for the Friars. “Our goal is to offer a central location where individuals and organizations can align and continue our enduring legacy of caring.” 

The center will house the following organizations:

  • The Center for Respite Care
  • Franciscan Ministries’ Haircuts from the Heart
  • Mary Magdalen House
  • Prince of Peace Lutheran Church Welcome Home Collaborative
  • St. Francis Seraph Ministries
  • Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank
  • Tri Health Outreach Ministries

The December dedication ceremony included a ribbon cutting and open house for the community, as well as speakers including Friars leaders and local elected officials. Lois Shegog provided entertainment.


About the anchor organizations

The Franciscan Friars:

They serve the Catholic Church as Brothers and Priests, devoting their lives to the search for God in a communal life of poverty, prayer and service to others. franciscan.org

The Center for Respite Care:

The Center for Respite Care is  a 14-bed, 24-hour facility that provides medical and nursing care to sick homeless people and promotes effective healing. Clients receive quality medical care and assistance in breaking the cycle of homelessness. Since opening 14 years ago, the Center has cared for over 1,000 homeless, sick and injured people. centerforrespitecare.org

St. Francis Ministries’ Haircuts from the Heart:  

Haircuts from the Heart provides haircuts for people who are homeless, elderly, disabled or poor. Services are designed to boost the self-esteem and dignity of the participants, allow children to fit in at school, and give adults a “job ready” appearance. Haircuts are provided at social service partner agencies and through both a voucher program and in the new Mary Magdalen House. franciscanministriesinc.org

Mary Magdalen House:

Mary Magdalen House is a personal care facility for the homeless and very poor, providing welcome, peace, and refreshment to guests.hey find a place to shower, use a toilet, receive clean clothing, use a telephone, and receive messages and mail. Mary Magdalen House is guided by the belief that “dignity is the beginning of hope.” marymagdalenhouse.org

Prince of Peace Lutheran Church Welcome Home Collaborative:

The transitional housing program acquires distressed or vacant buildings and uses the homeless and working poor to remodel the buildings, providing training through the work. After the buildings are completed, they will be available as affordable housing and provide a path of hope for individuals struggling to find a place to live. poplcmscinci.org

St. Francis Seraph Ministries:

St. Francis Seraph Ministries offers help to over 30,000 clients through programs which include: The Dining Room, which feeds over 2,000 guests per month; The Bag Lunch Program, providing 3,200 lunches each month to local day laborers; The Sarah Center, which teaches women life and work skills; Cooking for the Family, which teaches basic cooking skills. sfsministries.org

Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank:

Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank partners with local social service agencies to provide diapers to low-income families while raising awareness of the basic need for diapers. sweetcheeksdiaperbanks.org

Tri Health Outreach Ministries:

Through the Outreach Community Health Worker Program, Tri Health Outreach Ministries strives to improve birth outcomes, thereby improving infant survival. trihealth.com

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