The Joseph House Workshop is a long-term residential program for men who were homeless. It help them advance toward gainful employment and healthy new lives. Here is an interview with Nick, Assistant Director, who is also a Workshop graduate:
How many men are in the program? We have 4 men here now; one is in the employment phase and three have just started taking classes.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected the program? The only changes here at the Workshop because of COVID-19 are that we do temperature checks and the residents do not go to outside meetings as they would have before the pandemic.
What part of the program are the men especially grateful for? The men are especially grateful for the chance to receive the tools to see things in a different way. They appreciate the kindness and love that they receive from the Workshop and all associated with Joseph House. They love the opportunity to “give back” to the community by way of community service over at the Crisis Center and helping the Sisters at the convent.
What are some of their goals? Their goals are gaining the ability to be self-sufficient, to stay off drugs and alcohol, rebuilding family relationships, obtaining a job and learning how to keep it, learning about building credit, getting a car and house. The resident in the employment phase is reaching every goal he has set here, he even says that he surprises himself on how much he has turned his life around with the help of Joseph House Workshop—he has held a job, started college, and is doing great in rebuilding his relationship with his wife and kids. Those who are starting classes are setting short-term goals to work on.
How are their lives different today compared to how they were before entering the Workshop? The biggest difference is that they have HOPE now, they have a PURPOSE.
Do you hear from former residents and graduates? Yes, we like to stay in touch. We believe everyone benefits from the program in different ways. They hold jobs and some have even started their own business. It’s heartening to see people rebuild their lives. The Workshop is a turning point for them.
The Joseph House Workshop was the final program that came into being through the vision and leadership of our founder, Sr. Mary Elizabeth Gintling.
To celebrate the Workshop’s 15th Anniversary in 2020, three of the current residents wrote letters of appreciation addressed to Sister. Although they never met her, the men nonetheless are reaping the benefits of her lifetime of service:
“Dear Sr. Mary Elizabeth, My name is Andrew, a resident at the Joseph House Workshop. I am very grateful for all that you have done. The program has given me my life back. I owe everything to this program, from my relationship with Christ, family, and learning what it means to love and serve others. Thank you with all my heart.”
“Sr. Mary Elizabeth Gintling, I first want to thank God for your love of wanting to help those who are less fortunate than others. What a blessing you are. I thank you for the Joseph House—it was not only a blessing for me, it saved my life in so many ways. Words cannot express my thank you. But now I know you are in God’s loving arms, grace, and hope for all you did while here. Thank you. – Thomas”
“The Joseph House Workshop has been one of the best decisions I have made in my whole 55 years in life. It was an experience that I grew closer to God like I have never been before. A group of guys trying to do the right thing and also accepting God in our lives. It has not been easy or hard, just trying to follow God’s will. Thank you Sis Mary Elizabeth for a place that made me a man fit for society. Love you for giving me a chance. Amen. – Maurice”
Read more about the program here: Joseph House Workshop