So Close to Home – Siena/Francis House, Omaha NE


I decided to apply for a service trip because being from Hawai’i, I knew I was not able to go home over spring break and I probably would’ve just stayed on campus. As everyone else was going off to the beaches or the mountains with their friends, making this spring break “one for the books”, I wanted to do so as well. I knew that getting involved with the SCSJ was going to be the best bet and boy was I right.

For my Service & Justice Trip, my group and I went to the Siena/Francis House in Omaha. I’ve heard about North Omaha but honestly never really invested time to learn the whole history of the place. I always thought about the Siena/Francis House as a homeless shelter, which is partially right. What I didn’t know was that it is also a recovery program called the Miracles Recovery Program. To me, that was one of the most interesting facts to learn. The Siena/Francis House provides food and clothes to the homeless as well as case management outreach services throughout their day services programs.

I stayed at the shelter from Tuesday through Saturday morning. Throughout the week, we volunteered in the kitchen, picked up trash around the community, and threw a birthday/St. Patrick’s Day party for the mentally ill people living in the apartments through the Miracles Recovery Program. Mostly, my group and I were immersed within the homeless community and listened to their stories. The best part of the week was listening to everyone’s life story and how they ended up in Omaha. It was crazy to hear the stories of people who were much older than me, but at the same time, hear stories of people around my age. To think that they’ve lived through 5 times as much as I’ll ever experience in my life is unbelievable.

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Going on this trip really put a lot of things into perspective. Sometimes unfortunate events happen to good people. Everyone is human and we all deserve to be treated like one. Even though the Siena/Francis House is right down the street from Creighton’s campus, it feels like worlds away. I remember thinking throughout the week “When I get back to Omaha…” but, I was already in Omaha. It was just a whole different way of life.

 

Megan Dorheim

Class of 2021

The SCSJ blogs are meant to be a place for Creighton students, faculty, staff, alumni/ae, and friends to reflect on their experiences with programs sponsored by the office or related to its mission. The views expressed in these reflections, and all other blogs found on or linked to from this website, are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of Creighton University, the Schlegel Center for Service and Justice (SCSJ), or any of the University’s affiliates. The University and the SCSJ are not responsible for the actions, content, accuracy, or opinions expressed in these blogs.