Posted at 3:40 PM on July 3, 2007
by Jeff Horwich
Reaction and questions are rolling in after our last show. Looks like we got some people thinking. Here's one from a listener in Rochester, MN:
I wonder if it's the same way in my city? We have a Dorothy Day house. What kind of changes or alternatives should be considered? There is way more to this story. Where do the customers go to get food? Can they shower and clean up for a job interview? Are there other services that can be used to get out of the endless cycle some of the people seem to be in? This is only one part of a very big story.
Lots of good questions. We didn't go into great detail on all the services available at Dorothy Day, but they go a great distance to be a one-stop-shop for the needs of the community. As I mentioned on the show, we did our taping in the dining room there. They serve two meals a day (lunch and dinner) and three on weekends. They have showers as well, which people can sign up for, and you shower when they call your name.
The center also includes a health care center, and an outreach center for social workers from the county. There is also a food shelf there, which can be used by residents and non-residents. What Dorothy Day does not explicitly include are employment services. The explanation we got was that those services are very complicated to provide, and it makes more sense to provide referrals to the agencies that do it better.
Can't speak for how things work in Rochester, though. Can anyone fill us in?
Jeff has it right; the Dorothy Day Center truly is a one-stop-shop for the homeless community - offering counseling services, health services, showers, a food shelf, two meals a day and referrals to other community resources.
As a staff member at Catholic Charities, I know that employment services were once offered at the Center but were discontinued in part due to funding issues. Many folks at the Center go to our Branch III program to use the employment room there.
Staff members and those who engage with the Center by volunteering or donating are commited to helping people move to a place of greater stability. Feel free to visit Catholic Charities web site to learn more about homelessness and poverty in the Twin Cities: www.cctwincities.org