5 Day Trips
Omaha, NE – Siena/Francis House
Homelessness in Omaha: Getting to Know Our Neighbors
As with all our half week trips, this is definitely more of 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. You will also sleep in the shelter. Ministry of presence is the primary component of this trip. A lot of time will be spent hearing the stories of the guests there, many of whom are experiencing mental illness or addiction, in formal meetings and informal time spent in the day shelter and during meals.
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 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.
Full Week Trips
Albuquerque, NM – St. Martin’s Hospitality Center
Students will be interacting daily with the homeless and extremely poor. There will be meetings with those who work on behalf of the poor, in addition to time with the poor themselves 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. Students will have the opportunity to visit Art Street, a local studio which is open to St. Martin’s clients.
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. A central component of the Trinity House family is simplicity. 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
Calhoun City, MS – EXCEL Community Center
The EXCEL program in Calhoun City, MS provides tutoring. EXCEL is a non-profit organization located in Okolona, Calhoun City and Morton MS which are still very segregated communities 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 local elementary school. The Sisters of St. Francis from Dubuque have launched and continue to sustain these centers.
Chicago, IL – Pilsen Poder Center
Latinos in Chicago – Integration, Contributions and Challenges
The Pilsen neighborhood on the near west side of Chicago is a vibrant Latino community. Your hosts will be the staff of the Poder Center (an English as a Second Language (ESL) and community center). The group lives and cooks its meals at the rectory of the Jesuit-run Catholic parish of St. Procopius. Service opportunities include tutoring adults at the Poder Center, tutoring children at St. Procopius elementary school, and serving at the parish soup kitchen and clothing depository. Groups learn about many local social justice issues and the local culture from a variety of experiences: talking with the youth group, eating dinner with parish families in their homes, touring the innovative and renowned Cristo Rey Jesuit High School and visiting the local Mexican Fine Arts Museum.
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, sort food and clothing donations, tutor children, provide childcare, and share in community dinners. Students will also have the opportunity to work in the Food Depository. Travel by public transportation to and from site will be used. Flexibility and openness to communal sharing is key.
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. The White Rose Catholic Worker also has a farm, and students will mainly eat food grown on the farm to experience sustainable living.
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
Clinton, IA – The Joy of Communal Living at L’Arche
Students will be traveling to Clinton to live in a L’Arche community. L’Arche communities are homes for Core Members who have intellectual disabilities and their Assistants who work and live with them. Students will be sharing in community life and get to know the Core Members and Assistants and help with the day to day operations of the houses, such as getting ready in the morning, doing chores around the homes during the day, helping to prepare dinner, and evening activities. The L’Arche mission is to create homes of welcome, to appreciate the unique gifts of each person and to respond to each one’s needs.
East St. Louis, IL – Hubbard House
Hubbard House’s mission is to “serve those who serve” by providing housing and meals as needed for area volunteers. They provide a forum for discussing why there is poverty, why people continue to be poorer and why the “system” does not support the needs of the poor. There is a large focus on education and how it affects the cycle of poverty. Incorporated within this process are opportunities for advocacy and discussing systemic change, for example: What can you do about it?
El Paso, TX – Annunciation House
The objective of the Border Awareness Experience at the Annunciation House is to facilitate face to face meetings and encounters between participants and people and groups on both sides of the Border. It intends to raise consciousness in the ‘first world’ about the issues facing the peoples of the ‘third world’ and the effects of unjust economic policies on their lives. It is an opportunity to listen to different perspectives and opinions about issues such as immigration, economic development, human rights, and social justice. It seeks put a face on the immigrant, the factory worker, the refugee, and the Border Patrol Agent.
El Paso, TX – Columban Border Immersion
The Missionary Society of St. Columban Office of Advocacy and Outreach will host this border immersion. The service of presence will be the focus of this trip – hearing peoples’ stories and accompanying them. You will talk with community members about the pressures, challenges and joys of living and working along the border; additionally, learning about the violence in Juarez and the challenges of immigration, migration, land rights, economics, and sustainability. Fr. Bill has been refurbishing the home where you will be staying and working on a community garden in the area. Although you will not be crossing the border, it is a good idea to have a valid United States ID and a passport with you.
Relevant Websites: Columban Advocacy & Outreach, Justice for Immigrants, Jesuit Conference on Migration & Immigration, Video about Lomas del Poleo Land Dispute, CCSJ Immigrants/Refugees Justice Priority
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
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 Interfaith Community Outreach program (cleaning homes, yardwork, delivering meals), visiting the residents at a group home for several mentally and cognitively challenged adults. The trip also includes learning and discussing the role of the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama Montgomery through tours to various sites such as Tuskegee Institute, Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Rosa Parks Museum, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s church and home and others. One evening is set aside for dinner with individuals who participated in the Civil Rights Movement as well as individuals who are active in addressing current social justice issues.
Morton, MS – EXCEL Community Center
The EXCEL program in Morton, MS provides tutoring in elementary and high schools, 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.
New Orleans, LA – Duchesne House
Creighton students have been going on Service Trips to the Gulf Coast since 1997. There was a large interest in trips to New Orleans immediately following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and through a partnership with Catholic Charities Operation Helping Hands, Creighton Students have been able to be a part of the rebuilding process. The rebuilding process is more than just providing houses for people, and by staying with the Duchesne House students will learn about the unseen effects that Katrina had on the city by engaging the issues of education, healthcare, poverty, and numerous other topics.
New Orleans, LA – House of Charity
A Charity Federation, Sisters and Daughters of Charity from all over the country, host this trip. Through a partnership with the House of Charity and St. Bernard’s Project, Creighton Students have been able to be a part of the rebuilding and restoration process in New Orleans. Service opportunities include general home repair and rebuilding, e.g. finishing drywall and mudding. The rebuilding process is more than just providing homes for people. Hearing personal stories gives students the opportunity to see the challenges that remain. Meeting the homeowners is a favorite part of this trip. The Sisters at the House of Charity provide a welcoming environment to help students process, reflect and serve during this trip.
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.
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.
Sioux City, IA – Habitat for Humanity
Join this community to work on a Habitat Home in the city with the highest level of poverty in the State of Iowa. Habitat for Humanity offers homeownership opportunities to families who are unable to obtain conventional house financing. Generally, this includes those whose income is 30 to 50 percent of the area’s median income. In most cases, prospective Habitat homeowner families make a $500 down payment and contribute 300 to 500 hours of “sweat equity” on the construction of their home or someone else’s home. Because Habitat houses are built using donations of land, material and labor, mortgage payments are kept affordable.
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 be at the White Violet Center for Eco-Justice (includes organically certified farmland, and gardens). 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.
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.
Wheeling, WV – Environmental Immersion
This environmental immersion through the Wheeling Appalachian Institute takes students throughout the state of West Virginia to learn about energy consumption and production, and its environmental and human costs. Students meet with both advocates and opponents for natural gas, coal, and wind energy that show both sides of a complicated issue. Additionally, participants will have the opportunity to become immersed into the rich West Virginian culture and be awed by the natural beauty of this wonderful and frequently misunderstood state.
Relevant Websites: Appalachian Institute at Wheeling Jesuit, Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, ABLE Families, Creighton University Sustainability Council, CCSJ Advocacy Alert – Sustainability/Environmental 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, light maintenance work seeing the beautiful nature of the reservation, 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.)
Winnebago, NE – St. Augustine Indian Mission
Enjoy a nice drive an hour and a half north to a great experience with the Winnebago and Omaha tribe. You will be staying on the Winnebago reservation and engage with the local community as well as helping out in St. Augustine Mission school. You will gain an insight into the history of American Indians and learn about the cultures of the Winnebago and Omaha communities. You will also learn about the social issues including, poverty, education, and addiction. “Nestled in the rolling hills of the northeast corner of Nebraska is St. Augustine Indian Mission and School. St. Augustine Indian Mission has served the Native American people of the Winnebago and Omaha Tribes since 1909.Through the years it has touched the lives of thousands of Native American children and impacted the lives of their families.” – St. Augustine Mission website