November 22, 2020

Caring for Our Most Vulnerable

This advertorial originally ran in The Orange County Register

For almost 100 years, Providence St. Joseph hospitals in Orange County – Mission, St. Joseph and St. Jude – have provided compassionate, quality care to advance the health of our communities. Inspired by our founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange and the Sisters of Providence, the Providence promise touches the soul: “Know me, care for me, ease my way.” At a time when so many in our communities and beyond are living on the margins, the Providence St. Joseph family is committed to working with like-minded community partners to ease the suffering of the poor and vulnerable we are called to serve.

Thanksgiving presents us with an opportunity to reflect on what we are most grateful for, and the COVID-19 pandemic makes this year’s celebration especially pertinent. 2020 has been a year of upheaval, making it more important than ever before that we dedicate our resources to helping our community’s most vulnerable. While this holiday season may look different for many of us as we continue to practice safe social distancing measures, no one should go without the food, shelter and care they need for a happy, healthy life.

Last year, Providence St. Joseph and its affiliated partner provided $205 million to our communities to address the social determinants of care. This work is made possible in part by our valued community partners such as Jamboree Housing Corporation, which delivers high-quality affordable housing and services that transform lives and strengthens communities. After partnering for years, St. Joseph Hospital and Jamboree established a program that connects patients discharged from our specialized psychiatric emergency room with Jamboree’s special needs housing in Anaheim.

Last year, Providence St. Joseph developed a three-year plan to reduce homelessness by supporting the development of 400 units of affordable housing. As part of this plan, we provided Jamboree with a $9 million bridge loan to convert an Anaheim motel into 70 units of affordable housing. Construction began in June, demonstrating how the partnership can play a meaningful role in ending chronic homelessness in the region.

“Jamboree has always been an advocate of the strong connection between health and housing and is excited to explore new opportunities with Providence,” said Laura Archuleta, President and CEO of Jamboree. “As Providence St. Joseph has grown over the years so has our partnership, which has expanded from financial support for services and housing development to on-site clinics in our apartment communities. We look forward to expanding our horizons with Providence to achieve our vision that every person will live in a strong, healthy and sustainable community.”

In Orange County there are more than 450,000 people at risk of going hungry each month, including children, seniors living on fixed incomes, people with disabilities and those without homes. For more than a decade, Providence St. Joseph has supported Second Harvest Food Bank to provide people with nutritious food and to end hunger in our community. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mission Hospital and St. Jude Medical Center each provided Second Harvest with a $33,000 grant to help ship 25,000 pounds of food staples to Orange County residents.

Providence St. Joseph also is a proud supporter of United Way, whose Orange County chapter has improved the lives of more than 750,000 local residents. In addition to supporting the United to End Homelessness campaign, which seeks to create long-term supportive housing for those in need, St. Jude and Mission Hospital contributed $300,000 to United Way’s Pandemic Relief Fund, which has supported more than 5,500 low-income Orange County families imminently facing homelessness or already experiencing homelessness.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made 2020 an incredibly turbulent year—whether it’s adapting to working from home, homeschooling children, unemployment or lack of social activity, many have felt the impacts of the pandemic on their mental health and wellbeing. Providence believes it’s just as important to provide for mental health as physical health. Our partner, Be Well OC, is doing just that by breaking ground on the first Be Well OC Campus, a state-of-the-art facility that will offer leading-edge mental health and substance use disorder treatment programs. Providence St. Joseph proudly contributed expertise, resources and funding for the project, which is set to debut in January 2021, because we believe in caring for the whole body, mind and spirit.

Providence extends its immense gratitude to our community partners, as well as our more than 150,000 donors in Orange County, who have come together to help us achieve our vision of health for a better world. As we look forward to the New Year, Providence will continue to provide compassionate, quality care for all—whether it’s within the walls of our hospitals or beyond into the communities we call home.

Learn more about our commitment to caring for Orange County at www.providenceoc.org.