Catholic Diocese Offers Sarto Retreat House for Evansville Independent Self-Isolation Center

(April 1, 2020) — Today, The City of Evansville (“The City”) and the Catholic Diocese of Evansville announced that they have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to help limit local impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The MOU enables the City to use the Diocese's Sarto Retreat House as a voluntary self-isolation center for people experiencing homelessness during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  The facility, named Evansville Independent Self-Isolation Center, provides a safe, secure place for those experiencing homelessness. Individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 can be isolated as they wait for their symptoms to dissipate. 

Additionally, it will house those who need further have been discharged after being treated for COVID-19 at local healthcare facilities.

"Thanks to the collaboration between homeless shelters and outreach staff, volunteers, healthcare facilities, and the Catholic Diocese; our community's most vulnerable citizens will have temporary housing where they can fully recuperate," said Mayor Lloyd Winnecke. "Establishing this center also will help prevent the further spread of COVID-19 in our community."

Security and cleaning staff will be provided by the City. Cleaning and sanitizing will be subject to inspection and approval by the Vanderburgh County Health Department, and later will be used to fully restore the Retreat House to its prior condition. Dedicated staff of Aurora Inc., ECHO Community Healthcare, ECHO Housing Corp. and others have volunteered to oversee clients’ recuperation at the facility.

"This is an opportunity for us to publicly express our faith by serving those who face a heightened health risk from COVID-19 in our local community." said Evansville Bishop Joseph M. Siegel. "We hope that our facility will be comforting to those who will be short-term residents."

The Sarto Retreat House is situated on the 54-acre Catholic Center complex on the north side of Evansville, along with the offices of the Catholic Diocese of Evansville.  The grounds offer a quiet, park-like setting, with safe, quiet areas for walking.  The Sarto Retreat House offers room for groups to hold retreats for up to 55 guests.