Spring Break 2012 Host Site Descriptions

5 Day Trips

Omaha, NE – Siena Francis House (Tuesday-Saturday)

Homelessness in Omaha: Getting to Know Our Neighbors
As with all our half week trips, this is most definitely an immersion rather than a service trip. You are invited to experience the realities of homelessness and the care and advocacy offered right here in our own city. Live with the guests at our local community partner Siena/Francis House, which focuses on meeting basic needs and accompanying people along their recovery process. Ministry of presence is the primary component of this trip. A lot of time will be spent hearing the stories of the guests there in formal meetings and informal time spent in the day shelter and during meals. This trip is the 2nd half of the week, March 6-10 (Tuesday-Saturday).

Relevant Website: Siena/Francis House, National Coalition for the Homeless, CCSJ Advocacy Alert – Poverty/Economic Justice

1 of 2 Saturday-Wednesday Trips:

Omaha, NE – Sustainability

Sustainability in Omaha: Uncovering Inconvenient Truths in Omaha
This five-day seminar exposes the participants to five different aspects of sustainability in Omaha: transportation, water, food, energy, and waste/recycling. Students will engage these topics through integrating hands-on experience with education by experts in the field of sustainability. Students will attempt to live sustainably during the seminar by walking, using public transportation, eating locally/seasonally/organically, reducing our use of water and energy through conservation, and creating little waste; (This may mean no showers for the week, not eating meat). This sustainability seminar seeks to educate and engage Creighton students about these issues in order that we might begin to create a more sustainable community here at Creighton and beyond.

Relevant Websites: City Sprouts, Creighton University Sustainability Council, CCSJ Advocacy Alert – Sustainability/Environmental Justice

OR

Omaha, NE – North Omaha

This will be a 5 day, Sunday-Thursday, local immersion working with local community partners to learn about racial justice movements of the past and present. Students will learn about the history of the Near North side and hear from organizers working on economic development, job training, alternatives to violence, and maintaining the rich jazz history of the region. To start, or continue, your learning you can watch the documentary Street of Dreams.

Relevant Websites: Gesu Housing Inc., Empowerment Network, Family Housing Advisory Services Inc., CCSJ Advocacy Alert – Peace/Nonviolence

 

Full Week Trips

Albuquerque, NM – Jesuit Volunteer Corps

Students will be interacting daily with the homeless and extremely poor. There will be meetings with case managers and client advocates, those who work on behalf of the poor, in addition to time with the poor them shelves will open eyes to the poverty, injustice, and suffering in the area. St. Martin’s is a day shelter that serves 250-300 clients daily. We provide showers, clothing, storage, and a hot breakfast every day. In addition we have a full range of behavioral services, case management, job development, and client advocacy. Ideally the trip would be a homeless immersion similar to the Siena/Francis trip based out of St. Martins. Students could visit the other shelters in the area, converse and spend time with clients in the shelter and on the streets.

Relevant Websites: Jesuit Volunteer Corps, CCSJ Advocacy Alert – Poverty/Economic Justice, CCSJ Advocacy Alert – Peace/Nonviolence

Albuquerque, NM – Trinity House Catholic Worker House

Defense Industry, Sustainability and Homelessness, Can you Dig it?
The Trinity Catholic Worker House is located in a rural, agricultural area, near the middle of Albuquerque, which is about as big as Omaha. The neighborhood of the Catholic Worker has recent immigrants as well as established families; the area has opulence and poverty existing side-by-side. The nuclear weapons industry has record budgets, but it is scrutinized by a small but determined group of abolitionists. The goals of the Catholic Worker community in Albuquerque are offering relief for those hurt by capitalism and abolishing nuclear weapons. The Trinity Catholic Worker is a house of hospitality which offers food, showers, and laundry services to families experiencing homeless in the community. Central components of the Trinity House family are simplicity and organic farming. The House asks for service of manual labor and accompaniment–being with your guests and speakers. (This community has a few cats, if you have allergies/dislikes.)

Relevant Websites: Trinity House Catholic Worker, Catholic Worker Movement, CCSJ Advocacy Alert – Poverty/Economic Justice, CCSJ Advocacy Alert – Peace/Nonviolence, CCSJ Advocacy Alert – Sustainability/Environmental Justice

Chicago, IL – Marillac House (Daughters of Charity)

Get to know diverse communities in Chicago.
This site serves the underdeveloped and underserved areas on the west side of Chicago. Students will primarily be working with the African-American community and youth through tutoring, working at a day care, and with various agencies and programs. Students will travel on public transportation, leaving Friday evening.

Relevant Websites: Daughters of Charity, Marillac Social Center, Poverty in Chicago, CCSJ Advocacy Alert – Poverty/Economic Justice

Chicago, IL – Su Casa Catholic Worker House

The Su Casa Catholic Worker is located on the South Side of Chicago. It has a mission of hospitality, community, and service. Su Casa works mostly with Spanish-speaking families that are experiencing homelessness. Volunteers help around the house, tutor children, and share in community dinners.

Relevant Websites: Su Casa Catholic Worker, Catholic Worker Movement, Poverty in Chicago, CCSJ Advocacy Alert – Poverty/Economic Justice

Chicago, IL – Whipple House (Daughters of Charity) 

Get to know diverse communities in Chicago.
This site primarily works with the Latino community in the underserved area of the west side of Chicago. Students work directly with the poor through tutoring and with various agencies and programs. Students will travel on public transportation, leaving Friday evening.

Relevant Websites: Daughters of Charity, St. Vincent De Paul Center, Poverty in Chicago, CCSJ Advocacy Alert – Migration, CCSJ Advocacy Alert – Poverty/Economic Justice

Chicago, IL – White Rose Catholic Worker House

The White Rose Catholic Worker serves in a number of different communities locally, nationally, and internationally.  Their local neighborhood, in Rogers Park, is one of the most diverse zip codes in the U.S. with over 80 languages represented and a high immigrant and refugee population. Generally, each day of the week volunteers take on a different issue of social concern and explore the alternatives that they are organizing for and living in the house including environmental sustainability, torture & war/nonviolence, capitalism/green economics, and poverty/hospitality.  There will be a series of educational and hands on experiences for each one.

Relevant Websites: Catholic Worker Movement, To the Beat of a Different Drum, Poverty in Chicago, CCSJ Advocacy Alert – Poverty/Economic Justice, CCSJ Advocacy Alert – Peace/Nonviolence, CCSJ Advocacy Alert – Sustainability/Environmental Justice

Cleveland, OH – Whitman Catholic Worker House

Gentrification, Homelessness and Resistance The Whitman House offers a week-long socioeconomic immersion experience in Cleveland, in the Ohio City neighborhood. Students live as part of the Catholic Worker community, as well as part of the larger neighborhood community that is diverse economically, racially, and socially. The experience includes volunteering with many different social services in the area including meal programs and getting to know the neighborhood and understanding its socioeconomic circumstances, especially the changes brought by gentrification in recent years.

Relevant Websites: Catholic Worker Movement, History of Ohio City, Cleveland, Poverty in Cleveland, CCSJ Advocacy Alert – Poverty/Economic Justice

Denver, CO – Colorado Vincentian Volunteers

Variety of Direct Service in an Inner City
A staff of current volunteers and former volunteers of the Colorado Vincentian Volunteer (CVV) program are the hosts of the Denver group. CVVs service work includes, but is not limited to, education, emergency assistance, homeless assistance, job training, women’s services, and health services. The Denver area encompasses a diverse but economically poor community. Topics covered in Denver include homelessness, poverty, immigration, environmental issues, and more. Participants at this site sleep and cook meals at Casa Karibu, home of a Maryknoll Lay Missioner family who often hosts returned missioners on the first floor for ‘re-entry’ adjustment time. Social Justice and Catholic social thought ground the work of the volunteers in the CVV program and their reflections. The site participants go to a variety of sites throughout the week, performing various types of service and developing relationships with some of Denver’s finest.

Relevant Websites: Colorado Vincentian Volunteers, Casa Karibu Sze-Ming, CCSJ Advocacy Alert – Poverty/Economic Justice, CCSJ Advocacy Alert – Sustainability/Environmental Justice, CCSJ Advocacy Alert – Migration

Detroit, MI – House of Providence (Daughters of Charity)

Students are invited to work with and learn from workers and guests at a local soup kitchen and adult education center. Detroit has one of the nation’s highest poverty and unemployment levels after many automobile factories closed. The Daughters of Charity that host the group will give an orientation of the community and spend time reflecting, sharing and eating with the group.

Relevant Websites: Daughters of Charity, Poverty in Detroit, CCSJ Advocacy Alert – Poverty/Economic Justice

Lincoln, NE – ShadowBrook Farm

See what it’s like to work on a farm for a week. 
ShadowBrook Farm is a small, family-owned specialty vegetable farm. We are committed to sustainable farming practices and are devoted to being good stewards of our land. We want to help move towards a “regional food system” where food is sold directly to the consumer rather than traveling many miles to reach your plate. About 10 acres are devoted to growing certified organic specialty vegetables and herbs. We also plant about an acre of cut-flowers. Our goal is to plant green manure crops in a third of our vegetable ground annually. We are using grass-based beef cows as part of our rotation. We have a herd of dairy goats that are currently used for our own dairy needs. We are currently using four hoop-houses to extend our growing season. Using this system we are able to produce vegetables for ten months a year. Participants have the opportunity to make goat cheese and should expect to do work in the outdoors.

Relevant Websites: ShadowBrook Farm, Green America, CCSJ Advocacy Alert – Sustainability/Environmental Justice

Milwaukee, WI – CapCorps

Trying on a Post Grad Volunteer Program
While in Milwaukee, participants work with the Capuchin Franciscan Volunteer Corps (Cap Core) whose focus is service, spirituality, social justice, and sustainable living in community. One highlight of service trips to Milwaukee is the chance to eat with the guests of St. Ben’s Community Meal. Students spend a day at Repairers of the Breach, a drop in center that is organized and run by people who use the services they provide. As a new element to the immersion trips, students also have the opportunity to visit with Voces de la Frontera, an immigrant rights group that is working to bring about justice for immigrants. There is also an opportunity to see an alternative to the current economic system which emphasizes direct service to the poor while simultaneously challenging war and the violence of poverty by taking direct action. This is a great way for students to experience a Post-Grad Volunteer Program.

Relevant Websites: CapCorps, Repairers of the Breach, Voces de la Fontera, Growing Power, Inc., CCSJ Advocacy Alert – Migration/Refugees, CCSJ Advocacy Alert – Poverty/Economic Justice, CCSJ Advocacy Alert – Sustainability/Environmental Justice

Minneapolis, MN – Ascension Parish

You are invited to immerse yourself with the Ascension Parish and learn about the inner city and multiethnic neighborhoods. Visiting with different community and parish groups, students will hear the stories of immigrants, learn about hunger, visit shelters and food distribution centers. This trip will focus on cross-cultural understanding and dialogue rather than service work.

Relevant Websites: Ascension Place, Inc., Visitation Ministry Blog, CCSJ Advocacy Alert – Migration/Refugees, CCSJ Advocacy Alert – Poverty/Economic Justice

Mobile, AL – Catholic Service Center (Daughters of Charity)

The students will be living and working with Catholic Service Center, a part of Catholic Charities and living with the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. Service will include engaging with people experiencing poverty, organizing a clothing store, and working in Bayou La Batre (a very poor area in the southern part of Mobile County that was hit hard by Hurricane Katrina and is currently being affected by the gulf oil spill).

Relevant Websites: Daughters of Charity, Bayou La Batre, Alabama Local News, Oil Spill Blog, CCSJ Advocacy Alert – Poverty/Economic Justice

Montgomery, AL – Resurrection Catholic Missions

Resurrection Catholic Missions reaches out to the community around it. Some of the things that you may do here include working in Resurrection Catholic School (tutoring, P.E., reading, etc.), assisting with the elderly outreach program, or gardening. The trip will also include learning and discussing the role of the civil rights in Montgomery.

Relevant Websites: Resurrection Catholic Missions, CCSJ Advocacy Alert – Poverty/Economic Justice

Morton, MS – EXCEL Community Center

The EXCEL program in Morton, MS provides tutoring, GED classes, adult on-going learning classes, computer classes, and a number of support groups for various interests. EXCEL is a non-profit organization located in 3 locations outside of Jackson, MS. Many communities are very segregated with high poverty and illiteracy rates. The participants will have the opportunity to learn about the reality in those communities, as well as help in the tutoring program and the thrift shop run by EXCEL. The Morton community also works with immigrant integration programs such as ESL and teaching local business owners Spanish. Area poultry plants are a draw for new workers.

Relevant Websites: Sisters of St. Francis, CCSJ Advocacy Alert – Poverty/Economic Justice, Mississippi Chicken

Omaha, NE – Pixan Ixim/OneWorld

Pixan Ixim is a Guatemalan Mayan group in South Omaha who gathers weekly for prayer. They have formed a committee to work on adult education, human rights, and healthcare both in Omaha and in Guatemala. Come serve and learn with these eager adults as they share their history, culture and commitment to improve their community. Service may include tutoring English classes, GED; child care, homework club, and manual labor in and around the parish. During the week students will volunteer with the OneWorld Community Health Centers. This will include shadowing opportunities, much needed office projects and meeting with local health care professionals. Conversational Spanish is very helpful for this site.

Relevant Websites: OneWorld Omaha, Pixan Ixim, Jesuits on Migration and Immigration, Justice For Immigrants, Justice for Our Neighbors, CCSJ Advocacy Alert – Migration

Okolona, MS – EXCEL Community Center

The EXCEL program in Okolona, MS provides tutoring, GED classes, adult on-going learning classes, computer classes, and a number of support groups for various interests. EXCEL is a non-profit organization located in Okolona, which is still a very segregated community with high poverty and illiteracy rates. The participants will have the opportunity to learn about the reality in those communities, as well as help in the tutoring program and the thrift shop run by EXCEL.

Relevant Websites: Sisters of St. Francis, CCSJ Advocacy Alert – Poverty/Economic Justice

St. Mary-of-the-Woods, IN – White Violet Eco Center 

The Sisters of Providence at the White Violet Eco-Center (in Terre Haute, IN) introduce the principles of eco-justice and Providence Spirituality while engaging in service at and around Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, near Terre Haute, Indiana. The service sites will alternate between the White Violet Center for Eco-Justice (includes organically certified farmland, orchards and gardens), Catholic Charities and St. Ann Clinic. There will also be maintenance in our organic gardens, assistance with daily alpaca care, work on our nature trail, working in landscaped areas near WVC buildings, and orchard maintenance. Participants will assist in annual cleaning tasks such as cleaning alpaca pens and fans, cleaning and putting up bluebird boxes, alpaca fiber program, recycling and biomass program, cleaning, or playing games with sisters in the memory loss unit.

Relevant Websites: Sisters of Providence of St. Mary-of-the-Woods, White Violet Alpacas, White Violet Center for Eco-Justice, CCSJ Advocacy Alert – Sustainability/Environmental Justice

Stroud, OK – Habitat for Humanity

More than Hammers and Nails
Do you know, or want to learn, how to build a house? Work with Stroud’s Habitat for Humanity chapter to build or prepare to build a home for a family in this warm Oklahoma community. “Habitat for Humanity benefits the community as much as it does individual families. Habitat homes are well built by community members and our home owners are proud and responsible neighbors.” This town is still in the process of rebuilding after an F-5 tornado hit in the late 90s which wiped out their economic centers.

Relevant Websites: National Habitat for Humanity, Stroud Habitat for Humanity, National Low Income Housing Coalition, CCSJ Advocacy Alert – Poverty/Economic Justice

Wind River, WY – St. Stephen’s Indian Mission

Life and Education on a Reservation, The Native American Experience
Experience life on the Reservation through meeting tribal leaders, visiting the schools, and participating in cultural experiences such as a sweat lodge. You will also learn about the social issues. The area is poor, though, because of gas and oil royalties perhaps not as poverty stricken as some reservations. Addiction to alcohol and drugs and diabetes are the major health concerns on the reservation. The students will meet with the elders who will speak to them about the issues on the reservation. From the St. Stephen’s Mission website: Most Arapaho are Catholic; most Shoshone who share the Wind River Reservation with them are Episcopal. We serve the Arapaho for the most part, who outnumber the Shoshone two to one. Each tribe has its own Business Council, comparable to a tribal council, and have some common agencies like the natural resources. Both Tribes have casinos, which, though providing jobs, cause social problems.

Relevant Websites: St. Vincent de Paul Center, CCSJ Advocacy Alert – Poverty/Economic Justice

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