Groundbreaking

December 22nd, 2020

From our founding in 1988, our mission remains to provide our clients with a place where they may stabilize their health.

Housing and Healthcare alone are not enough. Our clients and their families also need services to address a mix of life-limiting challenges anchoring them to stability.

Join the virtual Groundbreaking Ceremony for the DOORWAYS Beyond Tonight capital project to build our new Housing and Client Service Center.

Beyond Tonight expands our circle of care, increases efficiencies, and builds community from the inside out.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH

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For more information, please contact: Jim Timmerberg, 314-328-2705 or jtimmerberg@doorwayshousing.org.

Beyond Tonight

December 22nd, 2020



A Housing Model of Care
To Stop the Spread of HIV

DOORWAYS is beyond capacity, with no space to expand housing, staffing, or programs. We conducted feasibility studies regarding the need for expansion and our capacity for growth. With board approval, we began planning the first capital campaign in the agency’s history. “Beyond Tonight: A Capital Capital Campaign for DOORWAYS” will enable us to pioneer a new model of care offering flexible housing and onsite services that address 360-degrees of need through DOORWAYS programs and many partnering AIDS-serving organizations seeing clients on our campus. We are removing access and navigational barriers that create delays in achieving undetectable status, which renders the virus untransmittable–and thus reduces the spread of HIV in the community. The project is receiving broad support, as many recognize the basic right of individuals to regain health and improve their quality of life plus the importance of stopping forward transmission.

The Capital Campaign Cabinet formed in 2018 has been making many strides this year in our journey to a new campus. Similarly, our community development consultants and architects (Rise and Trivers respectively) have made substantial progress with advancing the project. In fact, you may have seen the media coverage highlighting the artist’s renderings of the new facility that is scheduled to open early 2022.

Clearly, the next few years will bring much excitement, but none of it would be possible without your steadfast support over the years that paved the path to this pinnacle of expansion. Your partnership has given the agency stability and positioned us for growth. We are grateful for all you have done and look forward to our next era together.

-Opal M. Jones
President & CEO


RESOURCES:

Beyond Tonight Campaign Brochure
Case for Support
Rendering
Pledge Form


 

 


Your gift saves lives — Beyond Tonight.
Make a donation in support of the campaign.
Make a pledge of support over a period of five years.


 

Questions: Call Jim Timmerberg at 314-328-2705 or email jtimmerberg@doorwayshousing.org

2020 Volunteer Celebration

September 1st, 2020

On September 1 we gathered, virtually, to celebrate and congratulate our volunteers and special honorees, especially 2020 Michael Edlin honoree, Jay Moore, MD; Generosity Award honorees, Christine and Rick Pennell, MD and Tim Brennan; and Volunteer Extraordinaire, Donna Nickum.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH

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CLICK HERE to Make a Donation to DOORWAYS

 

Building a Program During a Pandemic

June 19th, 2020

Erica Key is our new Behavioral Health Specialist (BHS). A licensed professional counselor, she earned a master’s degree from Webster University and a bachelor’s degree from Truman State University. Erica is our first BHS, and is helping us create a successful mental health program. She sat down with First Impressions Associate, Jerry Dickneite, to talk about how her time at DOORWAYS has been so far.
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JERRY: You came to DOORWAYS in the early stage of the pandemic. What specific plan did you have in place when you started counseling residents at that time?
ERICA: Starting during a pandemic made things interesting to say the least! I was hired to be the Behavioral Specialist for Cooper House as well as the participants in the Residential Program who need support. However, due to the pandemic, it was not safe to be in the community just yet, so I started working exclusively with the Cooper House residents. This has been a difficult time for them because there were new restrictions in place that limited where they could go and who could come see them to try to prevent the spread of COVID. I also received news that they had recently lost a beloved staff member right before I started. Thankfully with the help of the social workers and staff at Cooper House, I was able to be introduced to the residents, who welcomed me with kindness and extremely open arms at a very rough time. Taylor and Kate, the Social Workers at Cooper House, are amazing.  They already had started talking about me to the residents who had mental health concerns and were interested in therapy. They also took time out of their schedules to give me some background information for each and every resident I would see. They helped me schedule and locate clients for their initial appointments.  My plan for working with each client is unique for that client but, there are some things that will always happen. The first session is like an introduction for both me and the client. I go over confidentiality and consent forms and what that means for us, because I want us to be able to develop trust.  I ask a lot of questions and they can ask me questions as well. I gather information about the kinds of symptoms they are having or have had, any past mental health care, substance abuse history. I also ask about their hobbies, their families, etc. Then we move on to creating a treatment plan together. The treatment plan encompasses what they would like to accomplish with therapy, and we discuss what I can do to support them. I think this is important because it encourages the client to buy in to their care, because they are identifying what they feel is important to focus on during our time together and how we do it.
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JERRY: How are you dealing with the situation now that we are three months in?
ERICA:  There have been many ups and downs during these unpredictable times, but overall I have been learning a lot and having a great time. My time with the residents has added immensely to my life. I learn so much from them. Also, working with people who are so talented and dedicated in what they do makes me want to continue to work on being the best clinician I can be and to do even more to support my clients.
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JERRY: What are some of the common behavioral issues you are seeing that seem to be enhanced by the pandemic?
ERICA:  There was a lot of anxiety and fear about getting COVID-19 and how it would affect them as an at-risk population. People also expressed frustration because they don’t have as much freedom as they used to due to the COVID restrictions. Many have expressed some sadness or depression because they could not see their family or friends. We even had a few people lose family members during the pandemic.

People who have struggled, or are still struggling with addiction, have had a hard time, because many of the substance abuse programs stopped during the pandemic. They are in situations where they have less to keep them busy and increased stressors.  This can be a trigger for people.

However, they are so resilient. They get angry and frustrated, they get anxious, they get depressed, but each and every time, they get up. I have just been trying to serve as an outlet and help expand their coping skills. The staff at Cooper House have also helped to make my job a lot easier by continuing to support the clients in the many ways that they do. Activities Coordinator, Marybeth King, goes to stores to make sure the clients still have the things they want and need even though they aren’t leaving the building. The other activities she offers in the building are great for keeping their minds and bodies occupied, Resident Advocate, Earl Johnson, has been providing worship services and making special meals for the residents. And you, Jerry, have been helping people in the garden. It all adds to quality of life and helps with the client’s mental and emotional well-being.

JERRY: What are the special things you do to help gain resident trust?
ERICA:   I think it is important to be patient, genuine, and kind. That has brought me a long way. People tend to respond well to that. I just try to go in, be myself, and meet people where they are. To me, that means if it takes more than one session for you to feel comfortable with me, I won’t force it, but I will keep showing up, being supportive, and being consistent.
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JERRY: Any closing thoughts? Plans for moving beyond the pandemic?
ERICA:  Moving beyond the pandemic, I look forward to going to exploring the Residential Program, getting to know those residents and offering my support to them as well. I think that mental health can be one of the major barriers that keep people from being successful in independent housing, even when their intentions are completely good.  So, I look forward to providing the residents with the support they may need, or helping them get connected to someone who can provide that support. I would also like to thank the Cooper House residents for being so wonderful, and all the DOORWAYS staff for their support during my time here.
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Cooper House provides assistance 24/7 for 36 residents. The personal care by a variety of staff specializing in primary areas of need contributes to strong results in reducing viral load counts: 83% of Cooper House residents are virally suppressed, with 67% at undetectable levels. This is quite higher than the national average as a result of housing and supportive services.

“While our goal is to provide improved health outcomes and quality of life for our residents, what we do is also impacting the community,” noted Taylor McCabe, the Person-Centered Care Manager. “When someone reaches viral suppression, the risk of transmitting the virus is significantly reduced, and when the viral load becomes undetectable the virus is un-transmittable. This provides hope to current and future generations that one day we will live in a world where HIV, and the stigma that is associated with it, no longer has the power to permanently change someone’s life.”

Cooper House receives funding from HUD and the Medicaid Waiver Program to provide the subsidized housing expenses, but most other costs—such as the dietary budget and staffing—must be raised through donations. If you would like to make a financial donation to help us assist our clients, please contact Jim Timmerberg, Director of Development (jtimmerberg@doorwayshousing.org or 314-328-2705).

Contributions of items and time are also needed. As Michael noted, residents need more face masks. We would like each person to have several to allow for cleaning after each use. Contributions of time are also welcome as some residents do not receive any visitors other than the volunteers who socialize one-on-on with them. Volunteer groups also host parties and special holiday meals. If you are not able to visit Cooper House, the residents enjoy surprises such as treat bags and gift cards as prizes during game nights, or snacks during movies. If you have face masks or are interested in volunteering, please contact Patrick Young, Volunteer Director (pyoung@doorwayshousing.org or 314-328-2707).

 

 

 

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For more information contact Karen Carpentier at 314-328-2704 or kcarpentier@doorwayshousing.org.

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CLICK HERE to Make a Donation to DOORWAYS

 

A Perspective on COVID-19

May 13th, 2020

DOORWAYS residents are part of a high-risk population that includes a compromised immune system due to HIV, and frequently, other serious medical conditions.

Our staff encourage all Cooper House residents to shelter-at-home and have shared extensive information about the virus with them.

We have implemented COVID-19 safety precautions including access by staff only, with visitors unable to enter until further notice; PPE for medical staff; increased health monitoring; social distancing in the dining room and social activities; increased frequency of sanitizing common areas; and so forth.

After more than a month of isolating at home, our residents remain positive and cooperative. We’d like you to meet Michael. Our First Impression Associate, Jerry Dickneite, interviewed Michael to get his “first impressions” about how COVID-19 has affected him.

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JERRY: Can you recall back to when you first heard of COVID-19? What were your first thoughts?
MICHAEL: I thought I was going to die, considering my health status.
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JERRY:  What kinds of emotions are you feeling?
MICHAEL: 
Loneliness, fear, and isolation. This isn’t going to be over in a couple of months. I feel rather numb to it all.
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JERRY:  We are all aware of how COVID-19 is spread. Are you taking any extra precautions? Do you feel comfortable being around people?
MICHAEL:  I’m comfortable at this point. I’m away from possible infection. I feel safe.

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JERRY:  How are you dealing with the say-in-place orders and the closure of non-essential businesses?
MICHAEL:  I listen to a lot of music, pray, and sleep. I stay in touch with my friends via phone calls and texts. I keep my room clean and organized.
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JERRY:  What are you planning to do when non-essential activities are once again allowed?
MICHAEL:  Go to my 12-step meetings and get back to regular medical visits.  I miss my visits to Starbucks and MoKaBe’s.
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JERRY:  Anything else you want to share?
MICHAEL:  I am glad no one here is sick. The administration and staff here have done a great job keeping us safe. Staff in Cooper House has done a good job with cleaning and the kitchen menu has been good. We need more masks. All residents should have access to masks.
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Cooper House provides assistance 24/7 for 36 residents. The personal care by a variety of staff specializing in primary areas of need contributes to strong results in reducing viral load counts: 83% of Cooper House residents are virally suppressed, with 67% at undetectable levels. This is quite higher than the national average as a result of housing and supportive services.

“While our goal is to provide improved health outcomes and quality of life for our residents, what we do is also impacting the community,” noted Taylor McCabe, the Person-Centered Care Manager. “When someone reaches viral suppression, the risk of transmitting the virus is significantly reduced, and when the viral load becomes undetectable the virus is un-transmittable. This provides hope to current and future generations that one day we will live in a world where HIV, and the stigma that is associated with it, no longer has the power to permanently change someone’s life.”

Cooper House receives funding from HUD and the Medicaid Waiver Program to provide the subsidized housing expenses, but most other costs—such as the dietary budget and staffing—must be raised through donations. If you would like to make a financial donation to help us assist our clients, please contact Jim Timmerberg, Director of Development (jtimmerberg@doorwayshousing.org or 314-328-2705).

Contributions of items and time are also needed. As Michael noted, residents need more face masks. We would like each person to have several to allow for cleaning after each use. Contributions of time are also welcome as some residents do not receive any visitors other than the volunteers who socialize one-on-on with them. Volunteer groups also host parties and special holiday meals. If you are not able to visit Cooper House, the residents enjoy surprises such as treat bags and gift cards as prizes during game nights, or snacks during movies. If you have face masks or are interested in volunteering, please contact Patrick Young, Volunteer Director (pyoung@doorwayshousing.org or 314-328-2707).

 

 

 

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For more information contact Karen Carpentier at 314-328-2704 or kcarpentier@doorwayshousing.org.

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CLICK HERE to Make a Donation to DOORWAYS