Fall and Spring Break Service & Justice Trip Host Sites
All of these are subject to change as community partner needs develop and organizations change.
Anthony, NM – Women’s Intercultural Center
There is a seamless boundary between three states (New Mexico, Texas, and Chihuahua) and two nations (U.S. and Mexico). Everything that happens here requires unique solutions and partnerships due to the interconnectivity and interrelation of issues that impact us as a region in the areas of economics, human rights, environmental, migration, labor, militarization of the border, health, and much more. You will have the opportunity to: interact with Center participants, meet community leaders, advocates, and political leaders from the region and learn about the work they are doing in the areas of poverty, human rights, and alleviating suffering, take a Border Patrol tour to gain an intimate look and interactive experience of the border, and attend an immigration court hearing.
Axtell, NE – Mosaic Bethphage Village
Bethphage Village serves over 100 wonderfully diverse group members who each have a form of disability. At Bethphage, the members live in a group home setting, which creates a very strong sense of community. The students will have the opportunity to get to know a wide variety of personalities and backgrounds. Life at the Village is both robust and reflective: people are celebrated daily and compassionately cared for. Service trip participants will have the opportunity to build relationships with members through visits, tutoring, and activities, which will include playing with children, and visiting the elderly. You will also get to engage with the often hidden civil rights issues associated with mental health and disability. Your time in the village will sensitize you to the beauty of simple living and close community, and inspire you to become both friend and advocate of individuals with disabilities.
Chicago, IL – Pilsen Neighborhood
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 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 intersectional 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 Community
This trip mostly looks at gentrification and homelessness. Our main partner in Cleveland is “The Cleveland Catholic Worker House”, which offers a week-long socioeconomic immersion experience in the Ohio City neighborhood. During the week, you’ll get to live as part of the Catholic Worker community, while also getting to explore the economically, racially, and socially diverse community of Cleveland! The week will involve volunteering with many different social services in the area, doing things with meal programs and neighborhood non-profits, who will help educate the group about Cleveland’s socioeconomic circumstances, especially relating to gentrification.
Clinton, IA – L’Arche the Arch Community
L’Arche Clinton (aka The Arch) is an intentional community comprising 17 core members facing intellectual and/or physical disabilities and approximately 30 assistants and people in supportive roles who share life together. Mutual relationships are at the center of L’Arche. We are called to constantly consider the viewpoint and reality of those around us, both core members and assistants alike, as we share life together. You will have the opportunity to enter into relationships with all members of our community, discovering and engaging with their perspectives, challenges, and gifts. Some of the main challenges and bits of reality we face include: living in Clinton, IA (a once wealthy city that is now a very blue-collared factory town), advocating for our core members amidst government regulations and state budgetary cuts, meeting the ever changing needs of our community members, and creating a sustainable way of living together.
Denver, CO – Colorado Vincentian Volunteers
During your week in Colorado, you will be hosted by current and former members of the Colorado Vincentian Volunteer (CVV) program. CVV’s service work includes education, emergency assistance, homeless assistance, job training, women’s services, and health services. The Denver area encompasses a very diverse, but economically poor community. During the week, you’ll be learning about homelessness, poverty, immigration, environmental issues, and more. Participants at this site sleep and cook meals at Casa Karibu, an intentional Christian community offering hospitality for service trips and people in need. The work of these organizations, and the core of your reflections during the week will be social justice and catholic social teaching (similar to the core Jesuit values of Creighton!). Students also get to go to a variety of sites throughout the week, performing various types of service and developing relationships with some of Denver’s finest community members!
Detroit, MI – Capuchin Province of St. Joseph
The majority of Detroit’s population lives far below the poverty income and has one of the highest unemployment rates in the United States mostly due to the closing of the automobile factories, their suppliers, and supportive services. Even with all of these struggles, people are here are extremely resilient. Detroiters know about survival, creativity, and re-imagining the world to create the world they want to live in. Through the intersection of spirituality and social justice, participants will have an opportunity to learn ways in which people in Detroit empower themselves to change their world and to support the Detroiters in this work. They will participate in activities that allow them to both feed people who are hungry and understand the systems that oppress and marginalize groups and communities so that they have more difficulty than others to have access to their basic needs.
East St. Louis, IL – Hubbard House – Catholic Urban Programs
Students will have opportunities to work with outreach organizations in East St. Louis and perform a variety of direct service depending on community needs. They will get to 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 that will lead you to ask, “What can I 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 encounters between participants and the groups affected by the issue of immigration and the border. While here, students will live in community at a house that serves immigrant families and their children. The trip 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 Agent. Relevant video here
El Paso, TX – Columban Border Immersion
This trip focuses on hearing the personal stories of those affected by border issues and immigration, while also learning about the justice and advocacy side of the issue. You will talk with community members about the pressures, challenges and joys of living and working along the border. You’ll also get to learn about the challenges and opportunities of immigration, cooperation among the various legal and advocacy services for migrating people, and issues of ecological responsibility and sustainability in the arid environment of the Chihuahuan Desert. Students will stay at the Columban Mission Center, a justice education center that focuses on immigration and sustainability. Hands-on service will be limited, but may include a day working on a community garden in the area or cooking a meal for the guests of a migrant shelter. You’ll do a lot of “Ministry of Presence” by listening to those who accompany migrants and other vulnerable populations in their service and supporting community efforts.
Memphis, TN – Serve 901
Students will have the chance to explore a variety of service and justice opportunities around the city of Memphis during this trip, including civil rights and economic justice. Early on in the trip, participants will visit the National Civil Rights’ Museum to “set the stage” so to speak – giving participants the chance to reflect on what they learn at the Museum as they see more of Memphis and the de facto segregation still in existence in Tennessee. Students will spend a large part of their time serving at Our Lady of Sorrows, a grade school in Frayser. Participants will also serve at Manna House, a place of hospitality for those experiencing homelessness and poverty in Memphis, and learn about sustainable gardening in Orange Mound.
Milwaukee, WI – Casa Romero Urban Plunge
While in Milwaukee, participants work with Casa Romero Renewal Center in an urban immersion experience. The purpose of an urban plunge is to develop cultural sensitivity and awareness of urban issues through relationship building, input on urban themes, reflection, prayer, and service projects. The themes include poverty/hunger/homelessness, racism, immigration, trafficking, and environmental issues. The participants will have an opportunity to meet and eat with people experiencing homelessness, tutor immigrants studying for the citizenship exam, and volunteer at an intergenerational day care center for infants and adults with disabilities. This is an excellent way to learn about social justice and be in solidarity with those living in poverty.
Minneapolis, MN – St. Jane House and Ascension Parish
You are invited to immerse yourself with the Ascension Parish and St. Jane House and learn about the inner city and multiethnic neighborhoods. Visiting with different community and parish groups, students will hear the stories of immigrants, visit shelters, and learn about violence and poverty. This trip will focus on cross-cultural understanding and dialogue rather than service work. A highlight of the week is interacting with the Hmong community at an elementary school (helping with prep work, playing games with students, possibly sharing a lesson, and debriefing with the teachers).
Mobile, AL — Daughters of Charity
Participants for this trip 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 is an organization dedicated to reaching out and serving the surrounding community. Participants get to explore a wide variety of issues, including civil rights, economic justice, and education. You will also get to take part in a variety of hands-on service, all depending on the current needs of the community. Activities might include working at Resurrection Catholic School (tutoring, helping out with P.E., reading to kids, etc.), assisting with the outreach programs (cleaning homes, yard work, delivering meals), gardening, and visiting a local adult group home. The trip will also include learning and discussing the role of the civil rights in Montgomery and visiting local significant historical sites.
New Orleans, LA – Duchesne House
Creighton students have been on Service Trips to the Gulf Coast since 1997 immediately following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, working in partnership with SBPusa (formerly the St. Bernard Project), Creighton students continue to be a part of the rebuilding process. The on-going rebuilding process is so much more than just providing houses for people, it’s welcoming them back to a home. During your time in New Orleans, students learn about the unseen effects that Katrina had on the city, especially in the areas of education, healthcare, poverty, and race. Living at Duchesne House, a ministry of the Religious of the Sacred Heart, you will develop a sense of simplicity and community. Opportunities are provided for cultural experiences and reflection: field trips to the Whitney Plantation and Congo Square, a visit with a Black Masking Indian Chief, a behind the scenes night tour of the Cathedral, and a visit to Studio Be where art meets civil rights and social justice issues. Students meet young adult Americorps workers, homeowners, neighborhood people to listen to and learn from their stories. Evening reflections bring the events of the day deeper into the lives of the participants and can be life-changing.
New Orleans, LA – House of Charity
The Sisters and Daughters of Charity is a charity federation that works all over the country. 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 since Katrina. Service opportunities for participants include general home repair and rebuilding, e.g. finishing drywall and mudding, however, the rebuilding process involves so more than just providing homes for people. You’ll also get to hear many personal stories about the challenges that remain. Meeting the homeowners is often a favorite part of participants that go on this trip. The Sisters at the House of Charity provide a welcoming environment to help students process, reflect and serve during this trip.
Okolona, MS — Excel Community and Learning Center
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. Yet, despite its challenges, students are invited to enter with eyes open to witness the beauty of the community. 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. A highlight of the week is throwing a party for seniors in the community!
Omaha, NE – Intercultural Senior Center
The Intercultural Senior Center (ISC) serves seniors from very diverse backgrounds. We have seniors who are from different parts of North America, Latin American, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma, Karen State, Thailand, Congo, Sudan, Iraq, Karenni State and more! ISC provides volunteers a multifaceted opportunity to serve seniors who are underprivileged and arrive in the United States from war-torn and conflicted territories. Seniors arriving from different countries are living encyclopedias about the honest geopolitical, cultural, and financial conditions of areas they fled. Interacting with those seniors will provide an insight into those social justice factors.
Omaha, NE – OneWorld Community Health Centers
OneWorld Community Health Centers, Inc., in partnership with the community, provides culturally respectful, quality health care with special attention to the underserved. They provide treatment on a sliding scale, in order to provide care to those who could not normally afford it. Participants on this trip may get to interact with patients in the waiting rooms, shadow doctors, dentists and social workers, file papers, enter computer data in electronic files, visit community support networks, attend educational sessions, and learn more about cultural diversity issues, immigration, poverty, and public health measures. You’ll also get to explore the vibrant community of South Omaha! This means that whether you meet with local community non-profits, take a stroll down 24th street, or grab pupusas, you’ll be able to go back and visit!
Omaha, NE — Siena/Francis House
On this trip, you will have the chance to experience some of the realities of homelessness for yourself, while also being able to learn about the organizations working to support and advocate on behalf of individuals experiencing homelessness. During the week, you will live with the guests at our local community partner Siena/Francis House — a shelter which focuses on meeting basic needs and accompanying people in addiction recovery. Ministry of presence is the primary component of this trip, meaning that it will focus on “being with” instead of “doing for”. A lot of time will be spent hearing the stories of the guests, sharing meals and doing activities with them, and learning about the systemic roots of homelessness.
Omaha, NE – Yates Community Center
In this trip, students will be working with the Yates Community Center and the Omaha Public Schools system. Much of the trip will focus on education, but in the context of immigrant and refugee populations. Nebraska has resettled the most refugees per capita compared to other US states, making it the perfect place to learn about social justice issues facing these populations. Service activities may include tutoring ESL classes, sorting donations, or assisting with other tasks.
Overland Park, 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, card games, listening to music, doing art projects, making meals together, etc. 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.
St. Paul, MN – St. Joseph Worker Program
Participants for this trip will be diving into advocacy and learning about many ways that social change happens and is addressed in our communities and society. The week is spent with many community organizing and advocacy groups, with some practical training and reflection about civic engagement, social action, community organizing and root cause analysis. Stay with the St. Joseph Worker Community and get to know the local realities and challenges of the Twin Cities and see how some are working for great change!
St. Mary of the Woods, IN – White Violet Center for Eco-Justice
Participants of this site will get to hear the Sisters of Providence at the White Violet Eco-Center introduce the principles of eco-justice 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. You’ll also be involved in maintenance in organic gardens, assist with daily alpaca care, work on a nature trail, work in landscaped areas near WVC buildings, and help with 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.
Stroud, OK – Habitat for Humanity
Do you know, or want to learn, how to build a house? Participants on this trip serve with Habitat for Humanity to build or prepare to build a home for a family in this warm Oklahoma community. The house building is a blast, but what lies at the heart of the trip is the community you build for: “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.” You’ll get to hear stories of people who have received houses, and learn about the impact that Habitat has on the community. The town is currently still in the process of rebuilding after an F-5 tornado hit in the late 90s, wiping out their economic centers. The work you’ll be doing supports this effort!
Tuba City, AZ – Daughters of Charity
Tuba City is located on the Navajo Reservation. St. Jude Catholic Church was established here in 1961. A small, multicultural parish, St. Jude’s ministers to Navajo, Hopi, Anglo and Filipino parishioners. Our pastor, a Vincentian priest, three Daughters of Charity and a very active St. Vincent DePaul Society reach out to assist the many needs in the area. The experience here gives students the opportunity to see Navajo and Hopi life up close and assist the people with a variety of manual labor chores. Time is also provided to visit historical sites and sites of natural beauty.
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 other types of energy that show both sides of a complicated issue. Participants will also learn about West Virginia history as well as the labor perspective and the history of labor involvement. 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
Participants on this trip will get to learn about and form relationships with members of the Winnebago and Omaha tribes. You will be staying on the Winnebago reservation and engage with the local community as well as help 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 (at St. Augustine Indian Mission and School), and addiction.