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 trip rather than a service trip. You are invited to experience the reality 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 sleep in the shelter as the 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, informal time spent in the day shelter, and during meals. This trip is the 2nd half of the week: March 14-18.
Relevant Website: Siena/Francis House, National Coalition for the Homeless, CCSJ alum reflects on her Siena/Francis House Service Trip, CCSJ Poverty/Economic Justice Priority
Full Week Trips
Albuquerque, NM – St. Martin’s Hospitality Center
An experience of poverty in New Mexico
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.
Relevant Websites: Jesuit Volunteer Corps, CCSJ Advocacy Alert – Poverty/Economic Justice, CCSJ Advocacy Alert – Peace/Nonviolence
Chicago, IL – Poder Center & St. Procopius Parish
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.
Relevant Websites: Poder Center, St. Procopius
Chicago, IL – Marillac Center (Daughters of Charity)
Marillac Center 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 an after school program, working at a day care, with a food bank, and with various agencies and programs. Students will travel on public transportation, and will leave Friday evening.
Relevant Websites: Daughters of Charity, Marillac Social Center, Poverty in Chicago, CCSJ Advocacy Alert – Poverty/Economic Justice
Chicago, IL – White Rose Catholic Worker House
Catholic Worker House in Chicago
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
Chicago, IL – Whipple House (Daughters of Charity)
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
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, Poverty in Chicago, CCSJ Poverty/Economic Justice Priority, CCSJ Immigrants/Refugees Priority, CCSJ Sustainability/Environmental Justice Priority
Detroit, MI – Daughters of Charity
Daughters of Charity in Detroit
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, Detroit Poverty, CCSJ Poverty/Economic Justice Priority
East St. Louis, IL – Hubbard House
Hubbard House in St. Louis
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?
Lincoln, NE – ShadowBrook Farm
Farm in Lincoln
See what it’s like to work on a farm for a week . ShadowBrook Farm is a small, family-owned specialty vegetable farm. They are committed to organic farming practices and are devoted to being good stewards of our land. They 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. They also plant about an acre of cut-flowers. Their goal is to plant green manure crops in a third of our vegetable ground annually. They have a herd of dairy goats that are currently used for our own dairy needs. They are currently using four hoop-houses to extend our growing season. Using this system they 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 Website: ShadowBrook Farm, Green America, CCSJ 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. Students will work with the Catholic workers living in the house and experience their daily life. This is a great way for students to experience a Post-Grad Volunteer Program.
Relevant Websites: CapCorps, Repairers of the Breach, Voces de la Frontera, Growing Power, Inc., CCSJ Poverty/Economic Justice Priority, CCSJ Immigrants/Refugees Justice Priority, CCSJ Sustainability/Economic Justice Priority
Minneapolis, MN – Ascension Parish
Ascension Parish in Minneapolis
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 Website: Ascension Place, Visitation Ministry Blog, CCSJ Poverty/Economic Justice Priority, CCSJ Immigrants/Refugees Priority
Minneapolis, MN – Advocacy Justice Trip
Experience and learn about confronting injustices through community organizing and policy advocacy. SBSTers will meet with non-profit, religious, community, and government leaders in the Twin Cities who are creating more just communities, cities, and state through organizing, advocating, researching, and sharing stories of poverty and dignity in the public square. Participants will stay at the St. Joseph Worker’s Joseph House in the Phillips Neighborhood in Minneapolis. A general knowledge of the policy-making process would be useful for this trip, but is not necessary.
Mobile, AL – Daughters of Charity
Daughters of Charity in Alabama
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 Poverty/Economic Justice Priority
Montgomery, AL – Resurrection Catholic Ministries
Resurrection Catholic Ministries in Montgomery
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, yard work, 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 Montgomery, Alabama 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, an optional visit to MLK’s barber shop to meet MLK’s barber, 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.
Relevant Websites: Resurrection Catholic Missions, CCSJ Poverty/Economic Justice Priority
New Orleans, LA – Duchesne House
Duchesne House in New Orleans
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 the St. Bernard Project, Creighton Students have been able to be a part of the rebuilding process. The ongoning 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. While staying at the Duchesne House students will have the opportunity to hear many individual stories from those that participated in the Civil Rights Movement.
Relevant Websites: Duchesne House, New Orleans Province Jesuit Social Ministries, Jesuit Social Research Institute
Omaha, NE – One World Community Health Centers; Comunidad Maya Pixan Ixim
Migrants, Immigrants, and Latinos in Omaha
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 Immigrants/Refugees Justice Priority
Sioux City, IA – Habitat for Humanity
Habitat in Sioux City
Join this community to work on a Habitat Home, with the families and other volunteers, 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. This trip also provides the opportunity to visit the Boys & Girls Club.
Relevant Websites: National Habitat for Humanity, National Low Income Housing Coalition, CCSJ Poverty/Economic Justice Priority
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 Website: National Habitat for Humanity, Stroud Habitat for Humanity, National Low Income Housing Coalition, CCSJ Poverty/Economic Justice Priority
Wind River, WY – St. Stephen’s Mission
Life and Education on a Reservation, The Native American Experience
Experience life on the Reservation through meeting tribal leaders, visiting the schools, yard work, 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 Poverty/Economic Justice Priority
Winnebago, NE – St. Augustine Mission
A week on the Winnebago Reservation
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.
Relevant Website: St. Augustine Indian Mission, CCSJ Poverty/Economic Justice Priority