Giving women and children a comfortable safe place to begin healing the wounds of homelessness and building foundations for successful lives.
From Sr. Joanna Trainer, O.S.B., founder of the House of Bread and Peace:
At a Christmas dinner in Evansville, Indiana in 1979 I was shocked by the hunger of the poor. I was moved to do something about this issue and found motivation from the Catholic Worker Houses started by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin. Dorothy Day showed love and compassion to the homeless.
Her philosophy was built on the Gospels, especially that of Matthew 25: Feed the Hungry, Shelter the Homeless, Clothe the Naked, Visit the Sick, Give Drink to the Thirsty, Visit those in Prison
And Jesus said: “Whatever you do to the least of my brothers and sister you do it to me!”
The Women They Work With
They come from every walk of life, every financial background, every race, and religion. They share the desire and the hope that they will be independent again.
House of Bread and Peace helps
- the mother and child who have been asked to leave a shared residence
- the woman who has worked for 30 years and now finds herself homeless with a permanent disability
- the young woman who dropped out of high school and had a child, whom social service has taken away
Ozanam provides a safe space for families (moms, dads and children) and single women to stay when they find they have no were else left to go. Ozanam provides amenities of a clean room, personal care items, access to free laundry as well as 3 meals and 2 snack prepared everyday. Our case managers connect people to needed resources within the community and assist households in developing housing plans.
Youth First provides a menu of proven programs to equip young people with the mental health resiliency necessary to respond to life challenges with positive choices rather than with risky “escapes” like substance abuse, self-harm, violence, or emotional withdrawal. Youth First Social Workers are embedded in schools and present every day school is in session, equipped with the best prevention and early intervention skills to help students build resilience and trust instead of turning to much more dangerous coping strategies like getting high, acting out with violence, or harming themselves. They are specialized mentors who are readily available to assess and address student, family and school needs. They also coordinate with community partners to connect students and families to resources and services. A list of social workers in area schools can be found at youthfirstinc.org. Students and families who have been victimized by crime can contact the Youth First Social Worker by calling the school office.