Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Archdiocese Forms Network Organization for Catholic Housing and Care Services for Seniors

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The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis announced today that it is creating a new umbrella organization, Catholic Senior Services (CSS) to address the housing, care services and spiritual needs of the community's older adults in more a comprehensive way.

In announcing the new organization, Archbishop Harry J. Flynn said, "No vulnerable older person should be left alone whether in our parishes or in our community."

"According to the State's 2030 Report, 1.4 million Minnesota baby boomers are coming of age as part of the so-called 'age wave' population shift," Archbishop Flynn said. "By 2030, one in four Minnesotans will be 65 or older, double the current number. While many of today's aging population are better educated and more financially secure, a large number of them are ill-prepared for old age and the changes it brings. An estimated one-third of baby boom seniors will not have adequate resources for retirement and another third will be living at or near the poverty level."

Flynn explained that "The goal of CSS is to create, across the Archdiocese, a continuum of Catholic-sponsored senior housing and services that will serve older adults of all economic levels. It will collaborate with parishes, Catholic long term care and other organizations and also develop community partnerships. Serving as a resource, CSS will draw Catholic entities together in a more organized way to meet the expanding needs of seniors and to increase opportunities for elders to stay connected to their neighborhoods and church."

CSS will operate as a separate financially and legally independent entity with its own governance structure and will cover the Archdiocese's geographic area of 12 Minnesota counties. Initially, it will offer coordinated long term care and housing referrals through its four founding Twin Cities area Catholic affiliates: Catholic Eldercare of Minneapolis; the Franciscan Health Community of St. Paul; St. Therese's, New Hope; and St. Therese's Southwest, Hopkins.

While these affiliates will maintain their separate status, taken together, they currently provide 1,800 independent and assisted apartments and nursing home beds, employ about 1,600 people, and have a combined operating budget of $75 million.

To date, the Archdiocese has raised approximately $1 million in donations to launch CSS, and fund raising to support the new entity will continue. CSS has a 12 member board of directors, composed of Twin Cities' community leaders. Board Chair is Bishop Richard Pates, Auxiliary Bishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis Initially, CSS will be headquartered in the Hayden Center, an archdiocesan office building in Saint Paul. A full time president will be named soon.

More information is available on Catholic Senior Services' web site: http://www.catholicseniorservices.org/. The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis Earth Times

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