Week 2, Day 7: Rivers Powers at Dorothy Day House of Hospitality

Everyone knows that homelessness is a problem in America, but what most people don’t know is how the system works to combat the problem. Homeless shelters exist and are supported by governments, faith-based organizations, and non-governmental organizations. However, many shelters have very specific requirements for who they allow to reside in them. Some are gender specific, substance-free, number restricting (per family unit), time limited, or religiously affiliated, but very few allow families to remain intact or allow male children over the age of about 6. This is where the Dorothy Day House of Hospitality comes in: to fill this void and prevent families from being separated just because they are homeless.

Dorothy Day House of Hospitality is a great place for families, who can’t get into a typical shelter, to stay while they are getting back on their feet. Some families who have come through the Dorothy Day House are homeless due to traumatic life events, financial circumstances, or rebuilding their lives after incarceration, but the common thread they all share is a willingness to be self-sufficient and needing some assistance figuring out how to do that. Dorothy Day House has social, instructional, technological, and occupational resources available for the families to help them with school and the life, job, and financial skills they will need for independent living. Because these resources are available to women with children of both genders, regardless of age, the Dorothy Day House is filling a vacancy left by the system.

The Dorothy Day House offers several social opportunities each week for its residents. On Sundays, there is dessert and spiritual social during which time a volunteer brings desserts and scriptures and prayers are read by the group. This is a fun way to get to know new people who may not get to socialize often or may feel disconnected from the world around them. I totally failed to take photos when I was there, but I really enjoyed the Rice Krispy treats and fruit with my conversation on Sunday.

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