2015 Rosenberger Awardee Mary Etheart

Raymond Rosenberger – Minette Baum 2015 Awardee Mary Etheart, PhD, LCAC

To be considered for this award, the nominee shall have performed diligent and faithful service for an Exempt Charitable Organization which is organized and operated to (I) alleviate human suffering or enhance the quality of life of a persons afflicted with illness or injury, or (II) promote wellness through prevention of illness, disease or injury so that they are advancing the mission of the St. Joseph Community Health Foundation and the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ.

It’s the changes in the ladies’ faces that keeps Hope House executive director Mary Etheart, PhD, LCAC, coming back day after day. For more than ten years she has worked with homeless, chemically-dependent women in Allen County, giving them a hope and a future they might not otherwise find.

“You see the light in their eyes,” she said of women who have been in the program and sober for a while. “That’s wonderful to see.”

We are pleased to introduce Mary Etheart as the St. Joseph Community Health Foundation’s 2015 Minette Baum Award recipient because of her tireless dedication to Hope House. Mary earned her doctorate in psychology in 1994 and became a clinical addictions counselor in 1998. She once had aspirations of teaching at the university level, but it was too far removed from working with clients, so her path went in a different direction. In 2003 she became the executive director of Hope House.

Mary’s big heart and love for the women in the program make it easy for her to give her time and energy to Hope House. She makes sure the women in transitional housing have support services, case management, counseling, and a structured and well-organized program that helps them with recovery and self-sufficiency.

Although Mary’s contributions to the program are stellar, she is incredibly humble about her work there. Ask her what she’s done and she’ll change the focus to her staff and the great work they do for such a high need in the community.

“I’m very, very proud of what we do,” Etheart said. “The staff are very dedicated, and their hearts are one of the things that make it special. The residents really feel cared about. I think that’s important.”

Another important part of Hope House is the counseling that’s offered to residents. Mary said the support from the Foundation is a huge part of their success when it comes to counseling.

“(Counseling) provides a sense of not being alone, support, and of understanding,” she said. “And it’s thanks to the St. Joseph Community Health Foundation that we have those counselors.”

Mary is a member of the 2007 class of Leadership Fort Wayne, has served on the boards of the United Way and the Drug & Alcohol Consortium of Allen County, and currently serves on the steering committee of the Local Planning Council on Homelessness. Mary Etheart’s heart and commitment to Hope House and the recovering residents there are what make her the recipient of this year’s award.