Grant Spotlights: Cardinal Ritter Senior Services

 Each year, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet award funds to organizations and projects that serve the economically poor in the St. Louis area through the Tabitha Grants program.  The program has supported many local organizations that are acquainted with a CSJ sister or associate and consistent with CSJ values.

In this grant spotlight, we feature Cardinal Ritter Senior Services, a 2017 recipient of a Tabitha Grant, funding to allow low-income senior citizens to rent affordable assisted living residencies.

Two DuBourg House residents enjoy a sno cone treat with Cardinal Ritter Senior Services' CEO S. Suzanne Wesley, CSJ. 

By Abby Blaes, Communications intern

Cardinal Ritter Senior Services (CRSS) provides a wide range of care to senior adults.  They provide social, health and housing services often to individuals who could otherwise not afford it.  The mission of Cardinal Ritter Senior Services is to be a recognized provider in giving person centered care through an integrated continuum of quality residential, healthcare and supportive social services for senior adults throughout the Archdiocese of Saint Louis.  The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet awarded CRSS a Tabitha Grant.  Amy Leipholtz, director of development for CRSS, answered some questions about this organization and how they're using the Tabitha Grant money.

Q: How has the grant money you received been used or how will it be used?

Amy Leipholtz: The grant money provided to Cardinal Ritter Senior Services (CRSS) is for low income senior adults rent assistance at CRSS's two low income assisted living facilities DuBourg House located next to DuBourg High School and St. Elizabeth Hall in the Central West End.

Q: What are this organization’s unique mission?  What is the world problem this organization intends to tackle?

AL: Cardinal Ritter serves senior adults with a continuum of services. These two assisted livings provide 24 hour oversight, nursing and medical assistance, meals and activities. There is no assistance from the state or federal governments (so no Medicaid or Medicare) for assisted livings so we work to avoid premature skilled nursing home placement and allow these low income seniors to be in the most homelike environment as much as safely possible. Majority of the seniors served in these two locations do not have more than $1000 monthly income and are not able to pay even a third of what the costs are in the St. Louis area for assisted livings. Both DuBourg House and St. Elizabeth Hall are in older buildings and the capital costs can be extensive. These Tabitha funds allow us to care for more seniors who cannot live at home any longer.

Q: How has your organization grown over the years and how is it growing today?

AL: CRSS continues to respond to the needs of senior adults. This population is the fastest growing and as we all age we want to stay in our homes as long as we possible safely can. When the decision is made to find a new home we want to make sure each resident is cared for and that they and their family and caregivers feel like they are an important person to us - because they are!

Q: Why do you feel your organization is important in today’s society?

AL: Seniors are fantastic and deserve to be treated like they are! Cardinal Ritter Senior Services partners with senior adults and their families to make sure the seniors are getting all of the benefits they are eligible to receive and to be in the best environment. Many folks do not want to think about what their last years will look like and as our seniors will tell you – getting old is hard! Cardinal Ritter Senior Services is very grateful for this Tabitha funding and for the committee’s respect for and support of senior adults in the St. Louis community. 

 Residents from the two low income assisted livings where Tabitha funds are used. 

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