St. Joseph Missions Women’s Shelter (SJMWS) is a newly refurbished home located on Lake Avenue in Fort Wayne, Indiana. On the outside, one would see a large, blue two-story house nestled unexpectedly in the middle of a commercial area of the city—but inside, wonderful things are happening! The home serves as Allen County’s first emergency shelter expressly for single women, offering a place of refuge to those who are struggling to escape the myriad perils of life on the streets and find their place in life.
Executive Director Lisa Fabian, Program Director Erin Ness, and their team are such rays of hope for the many guests that face homelessness. Being able to offer this home and an individualized, holistic path to self-reliance to single homeless women—an egregiously underserved population—is a blessing. Lisa, Erin, and their staff are ready to serve.
Hosting up to 18 guests at a time, SJMWS will connect them to existing programs of over 20 community partners, many of whom are neighbors, to address their underlying causes of homelessness. Onsite instruction will encompass securing and maintaining employment, financial literacy, nutritious meals, healthy living, and creating a network for sustainable stability. The goal is to give each guest a safe, supportive and nurturing environment that honors her dignity and empowers her to become self-sufficient, enriching our community as she fulfills her glorious potential. The Catholic Community Foundation of Northeast Indiana provided the shelter with a gift of $60,000 to help with the start-up and operation of the shelter. Mike Shade, the CEO of CCFNEI, believes that with core values of Catholic and Christian that drives its faith in action, this ministry is so important to Northeast Indiana and is honored that the Foundation is able to help provide assistance. SJMWS is proud of its Catholic heritage—and profoundly grateful for CCFNEI’s extraordinary support.
Catholic Community Foundation of Northeast Indiana 9025 Coldwater Rd. Ste 200 Fort Wayne, IN 46825