Families Moving Forward

Franciscan Retreats and Spirituality Center in Prior Lake, Minnesota, hosted four homeless families from December 17 to 28. Volunteers from St. Michael's Catholic Church did an excellent job of staffing, feeding, and entertaining the group during the week of Christmas.

The children enjoyed sledding down the slope behind the Retreat Center.
The children enjoyed sledding down the slope behind the Retreat Center.

This work of housing and feeding homeless families for a week at a time is a collaboration between the Beacon Interfaith Housing and area churches. During the day the families can go to a Day Center where they have the opportunity to meet with Social Workers, search for jobs, and partake of activities for their children. Our retreat center in Prior Lake is partnering specifically with the parish of St. Michael's.

The commitment of the volunteers from St. Michael’s is inspiring. They work hard to make sure each person feels like this is home. Our guests spend time enjoying our common rooms and the outdoor areas and the children are able to play outside. But most important, they are able to go to their own rooms when they want and have the privacy that homeless people usually live without.

Guests and volunteers relaxed in the lounge.
Guests and volunteers relaxed in the lounge.

A program like Beacon, and the volunteer force of people putting their faith in action, gives the homeless the sense that they count for something. Just because you’re poor, or you don’t have a home, doesn’t mean you don’t have value. Each of us is a priceless child of God.

And part of the Franciscan ideal for service ministry is to work together with lay people; we don’t have to do everything by ourselves. In fact, our greatest successes come with cooperation.FMF snow angel