Our faith teaches that safe and adequate shelter is a human right and foundational to honoring the human dignity we all have as ‘imago dei’; the Catholic bishops of the United States made this point as plainly as they could in titling their seminal letter on the issue, The Right to a Decent Home.
The amount of people living without safe housing in America is a scandal. According to the most recent data, in 2020 over 580,000 people in America were unhoused. This marked the third straight year of increases, and does not account for the pandemic (homelessness data is based on a set point in time count that occurs in January).
The Voice of the Poor Committee and the Formation Committee will lead a Lenten Reflection Series exploring the human, moral, and social effects of homelessness in America. The series will also lift up some of the inspiring work being done by Vincentians throughout the country. A tremendous amount of work is being done by Vincentians in collaboration with other organizations to serve our brothers and sisters struggling to find safe and secure shelter:
- Denver Vincentians are part of an interfaith network providing rotating shelter services to women.
- San Diego Vincentians focus their efforts on serving youth experiencing homelessness and protecting them from more dangerous fates.
- Chicago Voice of the Poor Vincentians are building relationships with local public officials to change systems and policies.
- Memphis Vincentians feed hundreds of people experiencing homelessness every single day of the year.
The long-term effects of the pandemic on housing and homelessness are yet to be understood. What is certain, however, is that Vincentians will be ready to serve. Join us as we pray, learn, grow, support, and inspire each other to continue this ministry.