The CATHERINE HORSTMANN HOME was founded by the Catherine Horstmann Society in 1907 to shelter and train "young women who are dependent through no fault of their own." Antoinette Callaghan and a small group of Catholic women created the society to help homeless young women. The society wanted to shelter those women and train them for a place in the community. The group approached Bishop IGNATIUS F. HORSTMANN of the Cleveland Catholic Diocese, who promised support. In gratitude, they named the society after the bishop's mother. The SISTERS OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD cooperated with the society, which sheltered forty girls the first year. After several moves on the city's west side, in 1950 the society moved to 2155 Overlook Road, on the east side, where the home was still maintained in 2006.
In 1969, refusing to surrender its autonomy by affiliating with CATHOLIC CHARITIES CORP., the society withdrew from financial participation with the Welfare Federation (see CENTER FOR COMMUNITY SOLUTIONS) and ceased its original services. After meeting state requirements, in September 1970 the Catherine Horstmann Home began filling the need for transitional housing for educable mentally retarded women. The home houses eleven residents who are at least eighteen years old, with their primary disability being only mental retardation. To gain residency, the women must be employed in a sheltered workshop or competitive workplace.
The home teaches residents to manage basic homemaking, finances, hygiene, and personal health care, and helps with work-related concerns. After staying at the home a variable number of years, the women may "graduate" to some form of independent housing, although length of stay is contingent upon the resident's developmental needs. The private facility, supported by grants and other fundraising, works closely with the county board of mental retardation and other organizations.