The St. Herman House - FOCUS Cleveland is organized exclusively for charitable and educational purposes, more specifically to manage the house of hospitality, promote the Orthodox ministry in the community, and help those in need in the Ohio City area.
Founded in September 1977, St. Herman’s has Over 35 years of service to the poor and homeless population in Ohio City. As of January 1, 2012, we officially changed our name to St. Herman’s Orthodox House of Hospitality, Inc. There is a new board made up of local Orthodox Clergy, parishioners, and community members that are motivated to ensure that St. Herman’s Orthodox House of Hospitality remains an integral part of Ohio City while providing services necessary to meet the need of the community.
In the past year, we served over 73,000 hot meals. We are one of the only shelters in Ohio, and in the nation, that serves three hot meals a day, seven days a week, every day of the year. Additionally, the last five working days of every month, we provide grocery bags for women with dependent children. As a matter of course, as many as 800 bags of groceries will be distributed to over 250 families. As part of our hospitality outreach, we have available emergency food, bread, and pastries whenever needed. Also, we own and operate a 75-acre farm that we use in our farm-to-table initiative, and which is being developed as a recovery ranch for persons struggling with addiction..
The St. Herman’s jobs program, “Program Services,” provides employment for eligible men in our shelter. We partner with local Churches, businesses, and residencies to provide employment for our shelter residents. Typically, over half of our men are employed full or part-time through Program Services or through employment secured through other partner agencies in the neighborhood.
Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday we open up our Clothing Pantry which provides clothing, shoes, and hygiene products to all who come. Over 500 men avail themselves to the Clothing Pantry each year. We also partner with Easter Seals, distributing clothing through their pantry. Each year we distribute shoes to homeless and needy children in the public and charter schools. When the holiday season comes around, we host giveaways of winter coats and wrapped gifts.
Each morning we open up our doors for ‘hospitality time,’ providing shelter, snacks, and fellowship to those who have nowhere else to go. Every morning at and every afternoon we pray in our chapel, and invite all who wish to join us. Each Tuesday night we conduct a Bible study in our dining room, all are welcome. We partner with local churches, businesses, and organizations, including the May Dugan Center, Metanoia Project, Courage to Change, Trials for Hope, Positive Education Program, Aspiring Hands, Edna House, Good Will, Nehemiah Mission, and Forest City. We are active participants in Ohio City Incorporated’s Human Services Dialogue. Volunteers and guests at the St. Herman House find an opportunity for authentic interactions and fellowship through the course of our many programs. Our most significant collaboration is with the May Dugan Center which provides our residents with intensive case management related to housing, employment, mental and physical health care, as well as opportunities for continuing education and counseling. Once a week, May Dugan Center teaches a goal-setting course in our House for our guests.
At any given time, we can shelter up to 28 men. In recent years, we have shelter 50 to 70 men and should reach our goal of 80 to 100 men each year by partnering with other agencies who can aide us in the challenging work of transitioning men from homelessness to independent living. Recently, we acquired a neighboring property which will serve as a Transitional House. Housing up to 12 qualified men at any given time, the House will provide a bridge those seeking to transition from homelessness to permanent housing. Qualified individuals will have achieved six months of sobriety, and income, and ongoing case management.