About St. Jude
|The St. Jude
Foundation (SJF) was founded by George Merrifield
with his spouse June Hatfield Merrifield to help
young people and their family members combat
problems caused by a family member or family members
being addicted to drugs or alcohol. Recognizing that
success required collaboration, the SJF developed a
number of strong community partnerships over the
ensuing years; in particular making connections with
the Archdiocese of Louisville and their Office of
Multicultural Ministries, the University of
Louisville’s Education Department and the St.
Vincent De Paul Society.
The St. Jude House, located at the corner of Jackson
and East St. Catherine Streets, stands today as a
testament of the sustaining nature of the work the
foundation began. This program was founded in 1986
through the determined leadership of June Merrifield
and serves as a home and base of support for young
women who are in recovery. The program today is
operated by St. Vincent de Paul Society.
In addition to this work, the SJF assisted numerous
other organizations, providing financial support to
the missions of groups such as Catholic Charities,
Project Women, Boys Haven, the Boy and Girls Clubs,
Intervention Research Center, Kentucky School for
Alcohol and Drug Studies, World Vision, CLOUT and
the United Negro College Fund.
After many years of working on issues related to
drug and alcohol abuse and witnessing first hand how
negatively these abuses affect communities and
families, George and June determined that there was
a pressing need to enlarge the mission of the St.
Jude Foundation. Rather than focus exclusively on
treatment and recovery, they wanted to take a
pre-emptive approach by placing greater emphasis on
assisting families in developing the life skills
that equip a family unit to create sustainable
success and hopefully prevent substance abuse
through supportive family intervention.
The foundation’s rich history of developing and
fostering partnerships, positions it well to realize
this new mission. It can be noted that at the start
of 2009 there are few other non-profit service
agencies poised to take such a lead or make itself a
conduit to partnerships in this arena.
The St. Jude Family Focus program creates a unique
opportunity for the entire family unit to come
together in a facility resembling a residential
apartment where their needs are assessed and a
program plan is developed that includes career and
emotional counseling, parenting skills, health
assessments and treatment, problem solving,
budgeting and many more subjects.