Mission & Values
“The St. Joseph Community Health Foundation, sponsored by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, stewards resources to:
Respond to community needs with grants;
Leverage collaboration with community partners;
Engage in transformational initiatives.
We serve the poor in body, mind and spirit to achieve quality health and wellness, focusing on the community of Allen County, Indiana and may respond to needs among other underserved populations.”
St. Katharina’s Shoes
Imagine a lady—small in stature but mighty in determination—who depended on her well-worn walking shoes to accomplish her life’s work—unrelenting in her mission to help the poor and underserved. This lady, meager of means herself, was known as Mary Catherine Kasper who founded the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ in Dernbach, Germany in 1851, thus beginning a Catholic order that would sponsor worldwide ministries over time.
The St. Joseph Community Health Foundation of Fort Wayne, Indiana is one such ministry that has at its feet the invaluable legacy of its sponsor, the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, and is proud to follow in the footsteps of its historical predecessor.
In Her Day – St. Katharina Kasper
St. Katharina Kasper frequently walked 25 miles to see the bishop and discuss building a house for those in need. She frequented other Poor Handmaid sites and houses in surrounding German towns. She took a personal interest in being out in the community and listened attentively to meet the needs of the people. Her passion was consumed by helping others, regardless of the effort required.
Today – St. Joseph Community Health Foundation
The St. Joseph Community Health Foundation places great importance on community outreach in Allen County.
Staff members make frequent site visits and work alongside others to assist with problem-solving solutions to improve access to health care and advocate for the health and well-being of Allen County’s poor and most vulnerable.
The Foundation does not question the old adage of “IF the shoe fits.” Rather, the shoe DOES fit, and the timeless mission continues, one step at a time.
The Core Values Statements of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ are another of the foundations upon which all programming and activities are measured. These values and beliefs have become especially significant in guiding the activities of the Foundation.
Openness to the Spirit: We believe in responding to the needs of the time.
Community: We believe in attentive listening and courageous response.
Simplicity: We believe in the wise use and care for all resources.
Dignity and Respect for All:
We believe human life is sacred throughout all stages of existence, from conception to death. We believe each person deserves respect and affirmation regardless of race, creed, sex, age, sexual orientation, status, or ability. We believe each person has rights and responsibilities and must be respected and treated fairly.