Fall Break 2014
Service and Justice Trips
Possible Community Host Partners
Half Week Trips:
Omaha, NE Siena/Francis: Oct. 21-25, 2014
Homelessness in Omaha: Getting to know our Neighbors
As with all our half-week (5 day) 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 12-15.
Omaha, NE – Sustainability Orientation
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
Ministry of presence with homeless guests in New Mexico
Students will be interacting daily with men and women experiencing homelessness. There will be meetings with those who work on behalf of the poor. Students will spend their days talking with and spending time with shelter guests. This will help students understand poverty, injustice, and suffering in the area. St. Martin’s Hospitality Center 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. Students will have the opportunity to visit Art Street, a local studio which is open to St. Martin’s clients.
Axtell, Nebraska – Mosaic Bethphage Village
Many of the over 100 persons who live at Bethphage Village in our service have multiple disabilities and therefore are some of society’s most vulnerable. Individuals live in group home settings and the feel of community is palpable. The students will have the opportunity to get to know a wide variety of personalities and backgrounds. Life is both robust and reflective in the Village. People are celebrated and compassionately cared for. Participants will have an opportunity to build relationships with those at the Village through visits, tutoring, playing with children, and the elderly. They will also engage the often hidden civil rights issues faced by those with special needs. Time at Bethphage Village will sensitize students and inspire them to offer a “voice” for those whose voice is often not heard.
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.
Cleveland, OH – Catholic Worker
Gentrification and Homelessness: The Cleveland Catholic Worker 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
Variety of Direct Service
Sr. Marge Clifford organizes opportunities to work with outreach organizations in East St. Louis. Meet the staff and community members who are working tirelessly to improve their community. Students may work in a soup kitchen, thrift store or in school based setting. The students will stay at Hubbard House, whose mission is to “serve those who serve” by providing housing and meals as needed for area volunteers. Hubbard House provides 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 – Columban Border Immersion
The Missionary Society of St. Columban’s Office of Advocacy and Outreach will host this border immersion. Hearing peoples’ stories and accompanying them will be the focus of this trip. 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. Students will stay at the Columban Mission Center, which has been refurbished in a sustainable way. Hands on service will be extremely limited but may include a day working on a community garden in the area and cooking a meal for hosts. Be present for Ministry of accompanyment, listening to service and supporting community efforts. Although you will not be crossing the border, you are required to have a valid United States ID and a passport with you.
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.
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 – 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.
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, 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, AL 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, US Conference of Catholic Bishops Economic Justice
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.
San Antonio, TX Daughters of Charity
Serve, learn and live with the Daughters of Charity who live and work in the economically depressed Southside of San Antonio. Students will have the opportunity to tutor children and visit elderly while working with different partners to provide a variety of outreach to the community. The population in the area is about 90% Hispanic. Some of this population is bilingual, while others only speak Spanish. The DePaul Center is on the southern edge of the city. La Mision/el Carmen is a 20 minute drive south into a more rural area of the city. Services in this area are scarce and the challenge of traveling to the city is hard because of the cost of gasoline and the availability of a vehicle. This impacts work, health care, etc., and creates a need of home visits in this community. Our social services on both sites offers new outlooks on how our systems affect our population. We meet face to face with persons living in poverty on a daily basis. We are collaborators with a variety of partners to extend the services we can offer to meet the needs to those whom we serve and join in efforts to address systems to work better for the people. Our Mission Coordinator has had multiple experiences as a community organizer. Join the sisters in different capacities through community organizing, ESL classes, catering to the impoverished, and working with Bexar County Detention facility through the Chrysalis program.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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 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.
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 4 days of work with the 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.
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.
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
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.