Help for Families in Crisis
Casa Guadalupana is a Catholic Worker house that helps Latina immigrants, usually single moms with kids, who may be experiencing a crisis or just can’t meet their basic needs. They are people whose living situations are so tenuous, that they can rapidly slide into catastrophe. These are also families who are ineligible for assistance and have no family or support system to fall back on.
Casa moved from a small home on the West Side into St. Matthew’s old rectory, a much larger space across the street from the church. Once renovations are complete on the hundred year old house, they’ll have room to stretch out and help more people.
The best way to understand some of what Casa does is to meet a few families who’ve stayed there, like Enedina’s, a single mom, with two kids. Enedina had surgery for breast cancer and was undergoing radiation treatment but as the sole support for her children, she couldn’t afford to take time off work to recover. Her doctor explained that working with industrial cleaners while undergoing radiation could damage her already fragile health. But, if she didn’t work, her children would be homeless. The doctor called Casa and they took her family in while she recovered from cancer. At Casa she received free room and board so she could leave her job. Casa volunteers took her to medical appointments and arranged for her to study English so she could get a better job after she left.
“Maria,” another single parent, was expecting her fourth child when her house was destroyed in a fire that burned over 75% of her body. The hospital delivered the baby while she was in a coma but once released, she had no home and no family to turn to. She had four children under the age of five to care for while she tried to recover from her burns. Casa took them in, cared for her children, took her to doctors’ appointments and saw them through until she was well enough to work again.
Casa not only sees families through the crisis, but helps them develop skills and supports to meet future challenges. Since 2004, over 50 people have lived at Casa, at least half have been children, and none of them has been homeless since.
For more information contact Kim Anderson, 651-222-7668.
Help Casa Renovate the Rectory
Casa is looking for volunteer groups or organizations willing to adopt one room for renovation at the rectory. While many rooms have already been refurbished, others still need to be fixed up and furnished to be ready for use. To find out more, call 651-222-7668.