Fall River Diocese Gives Update on St. Joesph’s House Homeless Shelter

OSTERVILLE – The Fall River Diocese provided an update on St. Joseph’s House, formerly the NOAH homeless shelter, to donors during an event last week in Osterville.

Catholic Social Services took over management of the Hyannis facility on November 1st and rent the building from Housing Assistance Corporation.

Father Mark Hession says improvements to the shelter were made quickly, including fumigating for insects.

“We brought in painters. We purchased lockers so [clients] had the dignity of storing their goods,” Hession said. “We purchased not one but two vans to get people to job application opportunities.”

Hession said responses to the shelter from local emergency service organizations has also been cut down.

The shelter has increased its capacity, which is full, and can hold 30 men and 30 women.

Nurses from Duffy Health Center come to the facility three days per week to assist clients with their care.

St. Joseph’s House has also partnered with the Seaside Center, an independent operation which manages psychological medications.

Hession said the last challenge before donors of the diocese moving forward is the mission to move people from emergency housing to affordable housing.

“Although we do this to an art form in cities like Fall River, New Bedford, Taunton and Attleboro because there are so many tenement houses that are available for purchase and renovation, as you can imagine here on Cape Cod affordable housing is a real challenge,” Hession said.

Hession said there is a crisis on the Cape with housing for the elderly and that the shelter has helped 89 seniors since November.

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