Health & Wellness

McAuley Ministries helps communities build gardens encouraging healthy eating and community socialization.
McAuley Ministries helps communities build gardens to encourage healthy eating, exercise, and community socialization.

McAuley Ministries supports initiatives that improve the overall health status of residents of the Hill District, Uptown, and West Oakland by meeting basic needs, encouraging healthy lifestyles, and providing community-based health care through innovative service delivery models. Priorities include:

  • Affordable and safe housing for low- and moderate-income families and special populations, including seniors, veterans, persons who are homeless, and persons with disabilities.
  • Support for organizations providing a safety net for basic needs (e.g., food, shelter, transportation, and access to health insurance).
  • Initiatives that help seniors to thrive and age in place.
  • Behavioral health initiatives that recognize and address the impact of community trauma.
  • Evidence-based initiatives that prevent and interrupt gun violence.
  • Support for Pittsburgh Mercy innovation that advances new models of health care for vulnerable populations.
  • Community gardens and play spaces that encourage healthy eating, exercise, and community socialization.

Stories of Hope

The Community at Holy Family Manor

I would like to thank Holy Family Manor for the help they offered me [through] the McAuley grant. Programs such as this are life-altering for people such as myself. While such repairs to a roof might be easy for some people, for others living off a fixed income such as disability where one needs to literally count their dollars and sometimes quarters (and that has happened for me), to be able to make even minor home repairs feels out of reach.

Your main focus when living on a fixed income are utility bills and food. Sometimes it feels the money that lands to your hands isn’t yours and leaves the second you touch it. The next month rolls over again and its the same pattern from month-to-month … from pay check-to-pay check.

“That phrase ‘one pay check away from being homeless’ is a very real scenario.”

For a long time I was dealing with a major main roof leak. It became so routine to where I would actually hate rainy days (where once I loved them). I use to like the sound of rainfall whenever it rained. But when you know that the rain is going to make its way through your house from the top floor to the bottom weakening the structure of the entire house it turns something so common to something that’s a problem.

Water would pour into my house like a waterfall. With no money to address the problem it became normal to put large bins under the pouring water. Inside felt like outside. Situations like that generate a domino effect and then it’s problem after problem after problem until the place where you call home now can’t be salvaged.

But thanks to the Holy Family Manor this situation was alleviated. I am happy to have met Bill Vandivier who helped me with this problem as well as other situations that began to give way over the year due the lack of finances. Grants such as the McAuley grant are a need for people such as me. There are some people in life that need help during rough times.

“We can all think of someone who God has placed in our lives to help carry us through the rough times like the ‘Footprint in the Sand.'”

While people regard Jesus Christ so much today, many people forget that Jesus was a homeless transient when he came to redeem man. When approached by a man who said he would follow him, Jesus responded “Foxes have dens and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.” Translation — “I need a place to stay”. Jesus made himself the most lowly of mankind to relate himself to what it meant to be human and struggle, and to an even greater point, is what he spoke in Matthew 25:31-40:

When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate the people one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on His right and the goats on His left. Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you took Me in, I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you looked after Me, I was in prison and you visited Me.’

Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? When did we see You sick or in prison and visit You?’ And the King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.

God put himself in our shoes as everyday people going about from day-to-day and counted among sheep those who slowed down long enough to pay enough attention to care about those who have been hit by hard times. This program is very important. I wish for them to help even more of those dealing with hard life trials. I wish them to continue to be a blessing in the storm for others who also need help. I realize that I am not the only one.

— J. from West Oakland

Consumer Health Coalition

A woman who works two part-time jobs came to us through a referral from Hillcrest Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Hill District. She has a few health conditions that she had not been taking care of because of the fear of the [cost of care]. Her children had insurance through CHIP, but neither of her jobs provided health coverage. She thought she could not afford anything in the Affordable Care Insurance Marketplace and didn’t think she was eligible for Medicaid due to her income. The navigator worked with her and found a gold level program that was far less than she ever anticipated. She began her coverage in December and called us to let us know she has also been to the doctor and renewed all of her medications. She was very grateful for our services and referred several of her co-workers to us! We were able to get all of them coverage–a few were eligible for Medicaid, but they never realized it.