“Everyone should have a clean place, a safe place to sleep,” said Executive Director/CEO Ed Wnorowski, as he addressed those gathered for the rededication of Ozanam Inn, our homeless men’s shelter here at St. Vincent de Paul Louisville.
With the support from a Louisville Metro Government Emergency Solutions Grant and matching donations from Fifth Third Bank Foundation, the Gheens Foundation, and many generous individuals, we were able to update critical areas in this high-use facility. Renovations include new restrooms, counseling spaces, HVAC, security, fire alarms, LED lighting, and an emergency generator. We were also able to renovate the 20 individual rooms reserved for homeless veterans. These renovations will assure a clean, safe environment for the 90 men who seek shelter nightly. “The scope of this project really was transformative. We are absolutely thrilled and appreciate everyone’s contribution,” said Jennifer Clark, Director of Programs at St. Vincent de Paul Louisville.
In direct response to the street homelessness crisis, we’ve made great strides in reducing the barriers that many individuals face when choosing to seek shelter. Also, in response to best practices identified in a report published by the University of Louisville (Solving Street Homelessness; June 11, 2019) we are implementing trauma-informed best practices to better serve our neighbors experiencing homelessness. St. Vincent de Paul Louisville is building on the success of adding case management as a shelter service. “Case management is the catalyst that moves people to self-sufficiency,” Wnorowski said. “Our outcomes validate this approach.” On average 7–10 shelter guests are moving into permanent housing in any given month, and over 50 have moved into housing since January 1, 2019.
We want to thank all the donors that made this project possible. Their support ensures Ozanam Inn will continue to provide shelter to those in need for years to come.