The Bible tells us that God hears the cry of his people, and I wish to join my voice to yours in calling for the three “L’s” for all our brothers and sisters: land, lodging and labor. I said it and I repeat it: these are sacred rights. It is important, it is well worth fighting for them.
-Pope Francis (7/9/15, Popular Movements)
Victoria’s ceiling in her bedroom and hall had been falling down for some time. With no money to fix the problem this mother and Grandmother didn’t know what to do. I had met Victoria, and had seen the damage on the day I went to her home to install smoke alarms. I encouraged her to get involved with our home repair program in order to fix her ceiling and lend a hand in helping her neighbors. When her Kitchen ceiling collapsed only a week later Victoria called us.
On Saturday the 13th, four parishioners and a volunteer from CHAT (Cully Housing Action Team) gathered at Victoria’s home to help. Parishioners, Manuel, his son Carlos, as well as myself, and David (a 15 year old active in the youth group), tore out the existing sheetrock, pulled out the moldy insulation, sprayed mold abatement, constructed minor structural upgrades, and installed new insulation.
Our program bought the drywall which will be installed by Victoria’s son-in-law and I will go back to tar patch the roof with Victoria's neighbor. A special thanks to Manuel, David, and Jemima, who worked much longer than expected to make sure that the job got done.
It is not just that people are forced, through economic and political systems, to live in conditions that cause their children to get sick and which put the whole family at a safety risk. The Holy Father reminds us that the Church is called to fight for people to have adequate lodging. St. Charles is living out that radical call of the Gospels
We are in need of more parishioners who are willing to help in these sorts of emergency repairs. You don’t need experience or a lot of physical strength. If you are interested in learning more about how your gifts could be put to good use in our home repair program please contact me at 503-281-6461 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blessings and Solidarity