homelessness

No longer trapped: St. Lazare House helps homeless young adults

Joey Puszkas didn't know where to start in listing what St. Lazare House has done for him.

Sitting in the community area of the apartment complex operated by Depaul USA, he has come a long way in the past three months. Homeless for more than two years, he lost weight from not eating and his mental state took a beating.

"I couldn't even communicate very well, I'd been alone for so long," he said. "I was doing horrible things."

Minneapolis Parish throws party for homeless displaced by Super Bowl

Larry Ligocki, a volunteer at St. Olaf Church in Minneapolis, talked with a homeless guest at a Super Bowl party Feb. 4. A church-run shelter near U.S. Bank Stadium, the site of the Super Bowl, was temporarily moved to St. Olaf so that guests could be outside of a secure area surrounding the stadium.

MINNEAPOLIS — A woman exclaimed, "Right there, that's what I thought!" as she watched Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles throw the first touchdown of the Super Bowl Feb. 4.

Watching the game on a TV at St. Olaf Church in downtown Minneapolis, she cheered all the more when the Eagles were on defense, exclaiming "don't let them get a touchdown" as they held the New England Patriots to a field goal on their first drive.

Later, she yelled, "Yes," as the Eagles broke up another pass by Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. The Eagles went on to beat the Patriots 41-33.

Ignatian Spirituality Retreats help homeless find spiritual backing to help them through challenges

Delnita McGhaw was homeless when she attended an Ignatian Spirituality Project retreat, which provides homeless people with hope that leads to long-lasting transformation. “The exercises stimulate your spiritual inner being,” she said. “I didn’t know you could have a moment alone with God.”

Alcohol eventually led Delnita McGhaw to homelessness. She found help through a women's shelter, which referred her to St. Patrick Center for treatment. There, she learned about a spiritual retreat for women.

"I didn't really know what it was," she said. At that time, her only sense of God was found in a bottle of alcohol. Abused by her father as a child, McGhaw said she "had no self-worth, no self-esteem, no nothing. I just had a love for that bottle and that's all."

TINY HOUSES, BIG HELP

Rockwood Summit High School students Sam Kesselring and Alex McHugh constructed walls for the tiny house. The students are part of a Geometry in Construction class that is building tiny houses that will help people transition out of homelessness. The project is the effort of several groups, including North Grand Neighborhood Services, Rockwood School District and Social Justice 4 All.

Gayle Piepho arrived late to a panel discussion on homelessness at Incarnate Word Parish. It was a long day. She was tired.

Then she perked up — and became the link between public high school students, who are building tiny houses for people who are homeless, and a faith-based organization supporting the effort through its mission to promote social justice.

Editorial | Homelessness is news

In 2013, Pope Francis suggested that when homeless people die of cold on the streets, it isn't considered newsworthy. In contrast, a 10-point drop on the stock markets is considered a tragedy.

He's on target with his remarks, aimed not at the news media but society in general. We often throw up our hands in frustration because housing homeless people is such a difficult task. Or we just write it off, blaming the homeless person for his or her fate.

In Plain Sight

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Josh has called the underbelly of a highway overpass his home on and off for the past four years.

Photos he took recently show what life looks like underneath the overpass. Sleeping bags, a few chairs and some tents provide refuge from the elements. His favorite photos include his "family" — homeless friends who share the space with him in St. Charles County

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