The Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, through the St. Joseph Community Health Foundation, formed Catherine Kasper Place at a critical time to respond to a crucial need in the refugee community in Fort Wayne. There was an unusually large influx of refugees over a short time period, many of whom were ill-equipped to deal with the realities of living in the United States.
The formation of Catherine Kasper Place was an extension of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ’s ongoing ministries to the poor and underserved in Fort Wayne and Allen County. Catherine Kasper Place served as a catalyst in Fort Wayne, bringing attention to the plight of the Burmese refugees and providing programs, services and opportunities that advance the integration of immigrants, refugees and political asylees into the community.
As time went on, other organizations recognized the needs of this community and responded as well, until in 2012 the St. Joseph Community Health Foundation recognized the likelihood of duplication of services. True North Strategic Advisors, LLC was engaged to strategically assess the role Catherine Kasper Place played in providing service and determine the ongoing need for those services.
The strategic assessment led to the following conclusions:
1. There is a duplication of services with over thirty social service
organizations providing programs targeting the refugee population.
2. Influx of refugees slowed and the breadth of need by refugees lessened
as they began integration into the community.
2. The cost of Catherine Kasper Place providing services was not the
optimal use of Poor Handmaid resources.
As a result of careful study and prayerful reflection, it has been determined that certain programs of Catherine Kasper Place will be discontinued. Other Catherine Kasper Place programs are being transitioned to community partners better positioned to address the needs, and the health related programs are being examined for transition to the St. Joseph Community Health Foundation to operate.
The Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ have ministered in Fort Wayne since 1868, responding to the needs of the vulnerable populations with emphasis on Community, Simplicity, Openness to the Spirit, and Dignity and Respect for all. They will continue to provide services to the poor and underserved in Fort Wayne through the St. Joseph Community Health Foundation and Health Visions Fort Wayne.