Spring Break 2015
Service and Justice Trips
Community Host Partners
Half Week Trips:
Omaha, NE Siena/Francis
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.
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.
Minneapolis, MN – Ascension Parish and St. Jane House
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
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
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.
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.”
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