The Dorothy Day House keeps homeless families together, creating a safe haven and a community for entire families.
In typical shelters, homeless families are often separated. Men are sent to one shelter while women, girls and little boys are sent to another shelter. Parents often must place their teenage boys in foster care, or find someone willing to provide a home and care for them. This means that parents cannot stay with their older sons; fathers must leave their daughters and small sons; husbands are separated from wives. Often, rather than experience the trauma of separation, families choose to live in a vehicle or stay in uninhabitable places.
Homelessness is traumatic for the entire family. How can a family begin to address the dilemmas that face them when they are not allowed to stay together to plan?
We welcome the whole family at the Dorothy Day House and we encourage the strengthening of family bonds during this time of trauma. Because we house several families at a time, our residents are able to offer mutual support and encouragement as they face and overcome the shared obstacles of poverty and homelessness. Families work together to clean and maintain the house and to cook meals. This home-like atmosphere provides a sense of security, especially for the children, fosters self-esteem and uplifts the human spirit. It creates one of the most vital ingredients for escaping poverty—hope.