Joseph Leisz joined Catholic Community Services in Tucson as their Development Director in January, 2022. Prior to that, he raised money for Kansas State University’s College of Agriculture, the Catholic Student Center at Iowa State University, and Iowa’s 4-H Foundation. A University of Arizona alumnus, he’s happy to be back in the Old Pueblo, where his son is involved in Scouting. Joe is thrilled to help the community through programs serving those in need – children, youth, families, seniors, refugees, migrants, and people with disabilities.

On May 3, 2022, Catholic Community Services celebrated the groundbreaking for it’s Medical Respite Center. The Center for Opportunity Campus is located on S. Palo Verde in Tucson. This new facility has been in the works for several years. However, fundraising was suspended during the Covid Pandemic to focus on other community needs. Now, with approximately $3.46 million raised towards a new $6.8 million goal, Catholic Community Services is excited to complete the journey to build this Center and help save lives.

The need for this facility has been evident for some time. In 2020 alone, 175 people experiencing homelessness in Tucson died because they were disconnected from medical care. The Medical Respite Center will provide an under-served and vulnerable population a place for more rapid healing and recovery. The center will reduce the use of 911, emergency room, and other critical community services. It will also provide needed care in a respectful, safe, and clean setting. In addition to high-quality medical and behavioral health care, patients will receive the supportive services necessary to successfully transition to permanent housing upon discharge.

The Medical Respite Center will improve the quality of live for many in our community, helping them become more engaged and productive citizens. The investment will save financial resources in the future. It’s expected that 94% of patients will experience improved physical and/or behavioral health; 85% will be discharged to affordable, permanent housing; local hospital readmission rates will be reduced by 40%, and recidivism rates among patients exiting from medical units in jails will decrease by 30%.

Some pics from our May 13 hybrid meeting.