Newsletter: August 2022

Dear Friends of Joseph House:

The heaviness of the daily news can be oppressive like the summer’s heat. Suffering, violence, and hatred seem to be everywhere, and there just isn’t a quick fix to the troubles of the world.

But every day we can plant seeds of peace, of hope, and of change. Invisible to most, unknown to many, they are the hand of God at work. Like any diligent gardener we need to cultivate what we plant and be patient and not get discouraged. “Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Gal 6:9). We can each do something, and what matters most to God is not our ability, but our availability.

In our work at the Joseph House Crisis Center, we respond to the immediate needs of people in desperate situations. We help them pay their bills and supply them with food, but there is more being done: restoration of their self-worth and dignity, renewal of their hopes and dreams, and encouragement to seek new directions in life. These are essential for securing the fraying threads of our communities.

Ron and Maria are an elderly couple who moved to our area to escape the crime and poverty of their hometown. After settling in a motel, Ron started working seven days a week using his car to deliver pizzas. High gas prices have cut into his pay, and Ron and Maria were on the verge of becoming homeless. They asked for help at our Crisis Center. We paid the $400 security deposit so they could move into a rental property, which is less expensive than a motel. We also gave Ron a voucher for 15 gallons of gas. Ron and Maria now hope to get their grandchildren to join them.

Mona is 59. Her husband has addiction issues and left her suddenly. Mona works full-time but she is now struggling to pay all the bills. Her most immediate need was a past-due car payment; without her car she will lose her job. We helped her with $200.

Francisco, 72, was working as a truck driver until his eyesight failed. He worked at Blind Industries for a while, but he stopped because of the COVID-19 pandemic and his concerns about being in close proximity to others. Recently, his son had a stroke and needed Francisco’s financial help. This made Francisco miss a rent payment and put him in danger of being evicted. We sent $400 to his landlord.

Here is an update about the Joseph House Workshop, our residential program for homeless men, from its Director, Nick:

“We have one resident at this time, he came to us from prison. He was convicted of a drug-related crime. He is in his fifties and has four years of college. He just made a bad decision that cost him everything. His goal is to stay off drugs, settle down and watch his grandchildren grow up. He wants to be a good example to them.

“He has been here for two months and has settled down from the anxieties he had when he first came here (he didn’t want to fail). He is learning his responsibilities, setting goals, and adapting to structure he has never had. He has about two more months in Phase 1 before he is able to seek employment, which is the focus of Phase 2 of our program. He has expressed great interest in exploring new opportunities.

“To give an overview of the program, residents of the Joseph House Workshop attend two 12-Step meetings daily, namely AA and NA. They will have to seek an AA/NA sponsor, attend church services of their choosing on Sundays, participate in community service consisting of no less than 20 hours/week, and attend Celebrate Recovery on a weekly basis (a recovery program).

“During the initial part of the program (Phase 1), they will also have weekly life skills training classes, random drug screens, and be a part of a community of peers to hold them accountable for their actions. They cannot use their cell phones (but can use our land line once a week or so) and must be accompanied by a staff member when they are off the premises. This part of the program is about focusing on oneself and making necessary personal changes.

“After four months, residents may enter Phase 2. They begin to work full-time and we assist them with resumes, job searches, and coaching for job interviews. Moreover, built into our program is a mandatory savings account of their wages to help them get reestablished in society. We can accommodate eight residents and they can stay at the Workshop for up to two years.

“In terms of facilities maintenance, we have installed new carpeting in some of the living areas. We are about to take up our tile floors that have wood underneath because they have started rotting and termites are eating them up. This means we will need new flooring for the hallway, dining room, and bathrooms.”

Another large expense we are facing is the replacement of the windows in the Workshop dormitory. Block glass windows were initially installed more than 15 years ago, but they are leaking badly. We need to replace them with regular sliding windows.

Click here for more information about the Workshop: Joseph House Workshop.

Below are some photos from the Memorial Day barbecue at the Workshop:

Last month we printed Sr. Virginia’s story about going to Rome for the canonization of Charles de Foucauld. On our website you can see photos and read more about her trip, which included a visit to Assisi: The Canonization of Charles de Foucauld.

Thank you for being part of our mission to help those in need. No matter how you show your support, you make a difference. We hope you will continue to join us in our service to the hungry, the homeless, and families in distress.

May God bless you!

Your Little Sisters of Jesus and Mary

Prayer is at the heart of our way of life. Send us your special intentions and we will pray for your needs: Contact Form.

Your support is essential for the continued operation of the Joseph House. Click here for information on how you can help: Donate.

Our featured Sister this month is our superior, Sr. Marilyn. Do you know what her favorite football team is? Take a look at her profile and find out: Sr. Marilyn.

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