Homelessness affects teens and young adults, families, migrants, the elderly, and those displaced by climate change and natural disasters. Learn how Catholic sisters around the world are helping those made homeless.

Lessons in Homelessness

Mercy Srs. JoAnn Persch and Pat Murphy, along with Mercy Associate Carol Conway and dozens of volunteers and donors, have been hard at work delivering peace and mercy to asylum seekers in Chicago.

While immigration reform will take political will and time, newly arrived immigrants need housing and other necessities immediately. As well as doing advocacy, Catholic sisters are responding to these immediate needs.

The mood at the 2021 meetings of the U.N.'s Commission on the Status of Women is a bit somber, with much talk about the effects and setbacks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Women in domestic abuse situations and victims of sexual exploitation and trafficking have special needs in addition to the need for safe and secure housing, so they can begin to heal from the trauma they have suffered.

Led by Immaculate Heart Community member Silvia Gutierrez, Safe Parking LA aims to convert Los Angeles County's underutilized parking lots for city residents experiencing homelessness with vehicles.

Faith-based programs to help those who must live in their cars are a new and creative way to help some of the hidden homeless.

Afghan and Ukrainian refugees find a home with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Brentwood, New York, bringing "new life to these old walls."

Immigrants' journeys do not end when they reach the United States. Catholic sisters are helping them feel welcomed and restoring their sense of belonging, a first step to new life in a new home.

On any given night in the United States, 41,000 unaccompanied youth ages 13-25 are without a home. And on all of those nights, Catholic women religious are working to shelter them, feed them, and protect them.

In diverse programs around the U.S., Catholic sisters recognize the many needs of the population of homeless youth and model how to be present to them emotionally as well as help them in practical ways.

"Our vision is for an Ireland where homelessness, and the trauma caused by homelessness, is eradicated from our society," says Daughter of Wisdom Sr. Jean Quinn, founder of Sophia Housing.

Catholic sisters in Ireland not only help homeless individuals but also are taking a lead in working to transform structures and systems to ensure that the dignity of every human being is respected.