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 interactions with the volunteers and employees 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 250-400 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/homeless services 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.
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 – Port Ministries
The Port Ministries is located in the Back of the Yards neighborhood in Chicago and run by Franciscan friars. Students will be working with a primarily Hispanic population through ESL classes, an after school program for high school students, youth tutoring, the bread truck that serves the neighborhood, as well as a free clinic. Groups will interact directly with those they serve, learn about the problems facing low income families and individuals in Chicago, and learn about Franciscan spirituality.
Relevant Websites: Port Ministries
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 – 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
Chicago, IL – White Rose Catholic Worker House
The White Rose Catholic Worker serves in a number of different communities locally, nationally, and internationally. Generally students immerse themselves each day in one of the most diverse zip codes in the U.S. with over 80 languages represented and a high immigrant and refugee population. 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, which students will stay at during their trip 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
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.
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 learning about the issues surrounding poverty, advocacy, and discussing systemic change, for example: What can you do about it?
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
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 Corps) 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. Students gain a deeper understanding of the environment and working at the Urban Ecology Center. 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 the St. Bernard Project, Creighton students are able to be a part of the rebuilding process. The ongoing 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.
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.
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. Students will have a greater impact on the community through doing various physical labor tasks indoors and outdoors.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