Network Notes Vol 48 No 3

LifeHouse Crisis Maternity Home celebrates 100 babies born to once homeless pregnant women.

LifeHouse Crisis Maternity Home (LifeHouse), a program of Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri (CCSOMO), is celebrating the birth of 100 babies to its formerly homeless clients. Fifteen of these babies were born during the COVID-19 pandemic and all were born free of drug dependence and the need for long-term neonatal intensive care, a savings to the community of $100,000 per infant, or $10 million. LifeHouse Crisis Maternity Home is a 24/7 transitional residential housing program for highly vulnerable homeless pregnant women ages 18 and above and their infants and children under the age of five. Women may stay at LifeHouse for up to a year after delivery while working toward self-sufficiency. Mothers and their children may enter into the LifeHouse AfterCare program, which provides two years of continued case management and resource access for residents after they move into their own homes.

At LifeHouse, residents receive a rare opportunity for a bright future, and for some, a first opportunity to build a life. LifeHouse resident Joanna said: “I never would have, in a million years, imagined that I would become a fully functioning member of society. It’s awesome.”

CCSOMO Director of Special Projects Michele Marsh, formerly Director of LifeHouse from 2014 through 2020, describes LifeHouse’s role as a life-saving and invaluable community asset: “At LifeHouse, we help some of the most vulnerable people in our society. They are homeless pregnant women with no place to go, who need a safe place and the skills and services to move out of poverty and become self-sufficient. The women all have traumatic histories and over 80 percent have a history of substance abuse. Sadly, too many are survivors of human trafficking.”

LifeHouse opened its doors Dec. 27, 2013, at its current location on the grounds of a converted Springfield monastery. CCSOMO Executive Director Maura Taylor highlights LifeHouse’s essential service to homeless pregnant women: “After seven years of operation, LifeHouse and the AfterCare program stand out as the only providers of comprehensive case management and services to this underserved population.” Taylor adds, “The success of LifeHouse in Springfield led to our current initiative, building LifeHouse Cape Girardeau. We break ground this summer and anticipate opening in late 2022.” LifeHouse Cape Girardeau will be built on donated land. Marsh is lead project manager.

LifeHouse is led today by Director of Maternal and Family Programs Cindi Kopel, who with her staff, embraces the vital work and need of women who seek their help. Kopel says: “At LifeHouse, the staff take decreasing homelessness very seriously. Since opening around Christmas of 2013, through the end of 2020, 151 women have successfully graduated from the LifeHouse Crisis Maternity Home program.” Kopel notes however, not all women who inquire about the program actually enroll: “In the same period, LifeHouse staff assisted another 833 women with finding shelter and other services.” Of these women who chose another path, Kopel says: “Just because this program may not be right for them does not mean we turn them away. Our case managers work to find these women shelter and resources. That’s what we do. We are always reaching out, providing hope, and changing lives.”

Catholic Charities of Pueblo selects Pieces Connect to help them maximize their impact on children and families they serve

Pieces, a healthcare AI company, announced that Catholic Charities of Pueblo has selected Pieces Connect softwareto provide community referral and case management. The technology will empower the large social service agency to streamline workflows, improve data capture, and enhance communication across its internal and external networks.

Catholic Charities of Pueblo serves over 12,000 individuals each year across 29 counties with the largest concentration of services offered in Pueblo County. As one of the main not-for-profit social service agencies in Southern Colorado, the organization operates 24 programs and services to address the needs of children and their guardians. This multi-generational programming approach helps achieve the full potential of children to prepare them for school and beyond.

As a key partner of Parkview Medical Center, a long-time customer of Pieces, Catholic Charities of Pueblo had already been receiving referrals from the hospital. However, those referrals were delivered via email rather than via Pieces Connect. Now, the organization will be able to use the software to send and receive referrals in the case management system and complete the process.

“Our organization relies on referrals from members of our community network, like Parkview, to reach children and families in need,” said Lindsay Reeves, Director of Early Childhood Programs at Catholic Charities of Pueblo. “We’re confident that Pieces Connect will enable us to enhance collaboration with our community network, as well as enable us to increase efficiencies and gather more data about those we serve. We believe that Pieces will help us to help even more people – and empower us to continue to fulfill our mission of providing help and creating hope in the community.”

According to Gail Abeyta, Parkview’s Director of Care Management, partnerships between the hospital and leading community organizations like Catholic Charities are vital to treating the whole patient. “We’re grateful to have had a strong, long-standing relationship with Catholic Charities of Pueblo. Now, we’re even more grateful to further strengthen our collaboration with the support of Pieces technology to facilitate an even deeper, data-driven connection that will benefit our patients, their families, and the entire community,” she said.

Pieces Connect is a scalable, cloud-based case management platform that helps organizations better address the social, economic, and behavioral determinants of health. The solution helps nonprofits to better manage and track their clients as they receive social services across a community, and delivers the data and reporting needed by these organizations looking to support growth and grant funding.

“Social service agencies with a broad reach like Catholic Charities of Pueblo are the critical, life-changing institutions that provide much-needed support for community members who are struggling,” said Ruben Amarasingham, MD, Founder and CEO of Pieces. “We’re incredibly pleased to partner with Catholic Charities of Pueblo, an inspiring organization, that has already done so much good work in the community. Even more importantly, we’re excited that Pieces Connect can power them to drive even more meaningful change for Pueblo residents and their families.”