50 years, 50 stories: Sister Yvonne Gellise Fund for Supportive Services for Housing

Helping to ensure everyone in Washtenaw County will have a place to call home.

Research has shown that the most cost-effective strategy for helping those who are chronically homeless is to provide safe housing coupled with support services that help people address the issues and barriers that contribute to their situation. Job training, mental health counseling, substance abuse recovery, and money management help people rebuild their lives and maintain housing – which also generates significant cost savings for the greater community. 

In 2011, to mark its 100th anniversary, St. Joseph Mercy Health System made a remarkable gift to help address an important issue in our community - homelessness. With a $1 million pledge, the Health System established an endowment at the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation that will provide an ongoing source of funding for permanent supportive housing and related services. To honor St. Joe’s commitment to serving those in need, the Community Foundation matched the Health System’s generous gift with its own, making an additional $1 million pledge. 

Named in honor of Sister Yvonne Gellise, who first came to Ann Arbor in 1968 to become Chief Executive of St. Joseph Mercy Hospital and who served as the Washtenaw Housing Alliance’s first Board Chair, the Sister Yvonne Gellise Fund for Supportive Services for Housing is an important step in helping to prevent homelessness in Washtenaw County. St. Joe’s inaugural gift to establish the permanent endowment, together with AAACF’s support, is intended to encourage wider community support for the Fund. Sister Yvonne shared: "It is my sincere hope and belief that St. Joe’s gift, coupled with the community’s continued support, will enable us all to create a positive outcome in response to an urgent need." 

One of the many ways the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation supports all that is good in our community.

Read more "good" stories at: aaacf.org/stories
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