Spring Break 2015 Service & Justice Trips Possible Community Host Partners
Half Week Trips (5 full days):
Omaha, NE Siena/Francis House
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 beginning Tuesday morning of break and going through the 2nd Saturday: October 20-24, 2015.
Omaha, NE – Sustainability Immersion
Want to know more about food, energy, water, waste and transportation in Omaha? Visit local non-profits to hear how they are working with the Omaha community to create a more sustainable world. There will be some hands on work, but this trip is focused on learning about possibilities and partnerships so that students can bring back these connections to campus. If you ever wondered where recycling goes in Omaha, wanted to see if you can spend the whole 5 days only walking and using the bus and like care for the earth, this trip is for you! Coordinators will do a lot of hands on setting up with the local agencies.
Omaha, NE – Refugee Immersion
68131 is the most diverse zipcode community in Nebraska. This area very close to campus is home to a diverse refugee community. Omaha is the receiving community for hundreds of refugees each year. If you are interested in helping to create a welcoming community for recent arrivals, this trip is right for you. Students will visit local non-profits to learn about services offered. Students may be able to tutor English, Driver’s Ed, Citizenship Test Civics, job skills and more.
Omaha, NE – North Omaha Immersion
North Omaha is a community rich in history and culture. 24th street is called the “Street of Dreams. ” Students will visit local non-profits to learn about Creighton’s neighbors, Civil Rights History, community assets and future development plans.
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.
Calhoun City, MS – Excel Community and Learning 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.
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
Student will have 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 – Annunciation House
The objective of the Border Awareness Experience at the Annunciation House is to facilitate face to face meetings and encounters, through living in a house with families and their children, 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 to put a face on the immigrant, the factory worker, the refugee, and the Border Patrol.
Relevant videos: here
El Paso, TX – Columban 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.
Kansas City, KS – Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth
Students will serve and learn in the Kansas City metro area in a wide variety of ministries. This is a great way to understand the challenges faced by people experiencing hunger, homelessness or poverty. Service opportunities may include: tutoring in local schools and community centers; visiting with migrant farm workers to learn about the apple harvest; learning about civil rights and discrimination in KC; and shadowing at a free health clinic. Creighton Alumni helped shape this memorable trip. The Sisters of Charity share their space and community with students. These Catholic religious women share their experience, reflection, prayer and love of KC.
Kansas City, KS – L’Arche Community
This community is designed around creating a family home for “core members” who are adults with intellectual disabilities. Students will “share life” with these core members and learn about their daily routines. Students can engage in community activities such as basketball and card games. Students may help work on personal development of core members such as practicing job interviews. Home maintenance and service projects may also be a part of this week. Living in community, sharing meals and prayer is an important part for all members. 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.
Little Rock, AR Daughters of Charity
The Daughters of Charity community invites you to get to know their community and ministries. Each day students will serve and learn throughout the city, looking at different social justice issues each day (e.g. Hunger, Homelessness, Teen Pregnancy, and Poverty). Serving at the Food Bank, participants can see the process of applying for SNAP. This community is very hospitable in their welcome and care for students. Students will have the opportunity to pray with the Daughters of Charity and get to know their order throughout the week.
Lincoln, NE Shadowbrook Farms
Live and work with the Loth Family in Lincoln to learn about the difficulties and beauty of farming. This fall trip will include helping wind the season down: working in green houses, in the fields, with the goats and learning about cheese making. Students must be hearty and willing to work in the rain, chill and mud. If you are interested in knowing about small family businesses, healthy food, a healthy planet and healthy people, this trip is for you.
La Pleata, MO – White Rose Catholic Worker Farm
The Catholic Worker Farm is in its beginning stages. Construction and farm work are needed to be able to provide hospitality for homeless guests in the future. Students will learn about radical simplicity, sustainability, hospitality and peace building. The Catholic Workers do justice work throughout the year including: peace delegations, and fasts against detention and torture. Students will need to be prepared for simple living: simple sleeping arrangements, simple meals and hard work. Learn about the Catholic Worker Movement founded by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin.
Milwaukee, WI – Cap Corps
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.
Minneapolis, MN – Advocacy Trip with the St. Joseph Worker
Are you interested in social change? Care about an issue so much that you want to help change laws? Students will learn about legislative advocacy and community organizing on this trip in the Twin Cities. Learn about the cycle of organizing, hear stories from leaders across the community, and see what the process is to move from charity to social justice and systemic change. Don’t be intimidated, this trip is for anyone with the interest to learn.
Mobile, AL – Daughters of Charity
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).
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.
Morton, MS – Excel Community and Learning 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 learn about civil rights from community leaders. 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. Spending time with the OSF as well as historic tours are some of the highlights of this trip. On the drive down to Morton, there is a stop at the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis.
New Orleans, LA – Duchesne House and St. Bernard Project
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 and St. Bernard Project
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 – One World Community Health Centers
Migrants, Immigrants, and Latinos in Omaha
This trip will focus on the history of South Omaha and the issue of immigration. 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
The Daughters of Charity live and work in the economically depressed Southside of San Antonio. The population is 90% Hispanic. Most persons are bilingual while others speak only Spanish. Some ministries that students might visit include: DePaul Center and La Mision El Carmen. If possible students may do outreach including home visits, teach ESL classes, speak with a sister working in detention ministry and hear stories of those living in poverty on a daily basis.
St. Mary of the Woods, IN – White Violet Eco Center
The Sisters of Providence at the White Violet Eco-Center 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, and cleaning.
Sioux City, IA – Habitat for Humanity
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 home ownership 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.
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.”
Tuba City, AZ – Daughters of Charity
The Daughters of Charity community invites you to live and work with them, on the Navajo Reservation and close to the Hopi Reservation. The parish community is a mix of Navajo, Hopi, Anglo and Filipino families. This immersion into Native American culture is an experience of history and beauty while offering important service. Local leaders will serve as guides and share their experiences with students. Gardening, home repair, help at the food bank and other projects will help students work with and get to know the community.
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.
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.
Denver, CO – Colorado Vincentian Volunteers
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.
St. Louis, MO – Vincentian Volunteers
Students will stay with the Vincentian Service Corps Central, a program sponsored by the Daughters of Charity for recent college grads who are volunteering for a year. Homelessness is a great concern in the area, and students will be exposed to this, along with other major social justice issues. “People are homeless, abused and looked down upon. Therefore, we need to have an open heart to learn and understand the injustices that are going on.” This host site suggests reading the book Savage Inequalities by Jonathan Kozol.
Okolona, MS – EXCEL
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.