It’s been said that “timing is everything.” Consider how often a chance encounter has altered the direction of a life – or lives? Kim Johnson never saw it coming, yet five years ago she embarked on a journey that has provided hope and empowerment to dozens of youths in foster care - while healing herself along the way.
Joseph’s younger sister, Vanessa, passed away four days after giving birth in December 2018. At her death, her two daughters from a previous relationship went to live with their birth father’s family. Four days after her mother passed, Alexis turned 10 years old. The girls entered foster care in January 2018, and in April, they came to live with Joseph and Tonya as a kinship placement. None of their lives would be the same – and yet, they were all the better for it.
Anti-human trafficking agencies throughout the country graciously shared their resources and time in a survey conducted by Saint Francis Ministries to produce a listing of the number of beds available to survivors of Commercial Sex Exploitation and Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, or CSE/C. This listing is designed to be a resource to communities, nonprofits, and government leaders who are working to develop stronger networks of support for survivors and to connect them with these services.
A $25,000 grant from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Foundation will support access to critical behavioral health services for Kansas residents through the expansion of telehealth services. The Saint Francis Ministries’ Outpatient Behavioral Health department will use the funding to support its telehealth services, which have been important in reaching clients during the pandemic when social distancing measures were needed. Telehealth means therapy sessions and other behavioral health services are offered virtually.
A collaboration between Saint Francis Ministries and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church will offer Picayune area adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities opportunities for fun and educational activities. Saint Francis Day Services – Adult opened its doors Aug. 3, 2020, at 1421 Goodyear Blvd., in a building at St. Paul’s campus that formerly housed the parish’s education center.
Fr. Robert N. Smith, dean, president and CEO of Saint Francis Ministries, shares the history of the organization in an audio format.
As world leaders officially declared a coronavirus pandemic in March, Saint Francis Ministries’ policy and advocacy team began the important work of determining how children and families would be impacted. The work continues today as the United States and those we serve continue to be affected by COVID-19.
Staying home during the COVID-19 crisis is supposed to be a safety measure that protects our community, ourselves, and our children from further spread of the coronavirus. Unfortunately, for many children, home is anything but a haven – especially when so many families already at risk must live in isolation together for extended periods of time.
It’s difficult to enumerate all of the gifts that have impacted Saint Francis during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are grateful and honored by community support that makes it possible for us to continue to provide the best, most supportive care for children and families. For instance, McCormick Distillery, like many distilleries, switched their production, and then donated 15 gallons of hand sanitizer. Great Plains Manufacturing in Salina also donated hand sanitizer.