The Crossing Outreach Ministry has continued to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic to help individuals turn their lives around in St. Joseph, but soon it will have to do so without a key source of funding.
Come June 30, Mosaic Life Care will no longer play a role in financing the facility. That amounts to more than $800,000 annually for the Urban Mission Collaboration over the next couple years.
“Our hope is the community steps in to provide financial assistance to make sure this critical aid continues for vulnerable populations in St. Joseph,” Mosaic Life Care officials said in a statement sent to News-Press NOW. “These difficult, yet necessary, organizational adjustments for Mosaic were made to ensure Mosaic is here for decades to come to provide health care for our region.”
Danny Gach said the Crossing will continue to push ahead despite the financial burdens that may hit the Urban Mission, which is a group that includes Community Action Partnership, the City of St. Joseph’s Health Department, Pivotal Point Transitional Housing and the St. Joseph Police Department.
Gach called Mosaic a tremendous partner and thanked the organization for its help.
The Crossing currently has a more than 20 individuals living at the shelter, but it has the capacity to house more than 60 people. During the pandemic, the shelter has stopped letting new guests in due to safety precautions.
Larry Stewart is CAP’s community health worker, and since April he has been able to help more than a dozen individuals move out of the Crossing.
“While the shelter in place was in order, we had a lot of people that were able to come to the shelter to stay but weren’t allowed to leave,” Stewart said.
That allowed him to focus on finding housing for individuals, including Helen Cook.
She is a proud grandmother who can now show off her apartment to her new grandson, Jacob, who was born this past Friday.
Before she was able to exit the Crossing, Stewart talked to landlords in town until he found Paul Robinson. He rents some of his apartments to seniors who do not have to pay utilities, which helps Cook since she is living on a limited income.
“The landlord was very helpful,” Stewart said. “The end result is now she’s living in her own apartment.”
Cook invited News-Press NOW into her one-bedroom apartment which was furnished through donations.
“Well, a regular bed is comfortable,” Cook said. “I like Larry, you know, he’s a nice guy ... if the Crossing wasn’t there I think I’d still be on the streets.”