The mission of the Social Justice Commission - rooted in Catholic social teaching and informed by the larger mission of St. Leo as a Jesuit parish - is to live out the Gospel mandate to help realize God’s reign of peace and justice. As a Commission we:
- Educate the parish community on issues of social justice and environmental stewardship
- Engage in the work of social justice through -
- The promotion of just legislative/policy development
- The promotion and action of civil engagement on behalf of vulnerable and exploited populations
- Develop programs and collaborative relationships to promote positive social change and sustainable living in a just world
- Support direct services to those in need via St. Leo Emergency Services
Social Justice Ministries
St. Leo's Emergency Services
Emergency Services (E-Services) provides social services from basic services for the homeless to homelessness prevention with a focus on employment search, employment retention, and stable housing. We assist consumers of homeless services and work release Department of Correction and underemployed individuals who are prepared to engage in employment readiness programming, employment search, and full employment. The program identifies and helps eliminate barriers to training, employment, and employment retention. We coordinate services with other providers to maximize effectiveness and focus on problem-solving. E-Services continually seek donations of toiletry/personal hygiene items such as socks, underwear for men and women, deodorant, soap, toothpaste, and toothbrushes.
Volunteer Opportunities (As available positions open)
Front Desk Receptionist:For more information or to become involved in E-Services please contact Rick Samyn at 253.272.5136 ext. 102 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Assisting with directing church business to appropriate staff
Managing phone messages
Assisting E-Services clients with direct service assistance or securing referral information
Organize family or group collection of in-kind donations including toiletries, socks, underwear, warm blankets, and caps/gloves/coats for inclement weather
The Sandwich Brigade
The Sandwich Brigade is made up of teams of at least four people who supply sandwich ingredients and make sandwiches that Operation Keep ‘em Warm & Fed distributes to the homeless. This is a monthly commitment and is a great project for families. Sandwich drop-offs are on Wednesdays and Thursdays each week.
Individuals and/or groups to purchase sandwich fixings and prepare individually-wrapped sandwiches to be delivered to the church rectory
Guadalupe House: The Tacoma Catholic Worker
The Guadalupe House provides transitional housing and food for homeless single adults in the tradition of Dorothy Day. Catholic Workers live in community with their homeless guests, sharing meals and chores. They also invite people on the streets to take showers, use the phone, and receive mail at the main house, 1417 South G Street, Monday through Friday from 11 AM to 2 PM. The Catholic Worker community also works on local, national, and international issues that impact the poor. On Tuesdays at 5:30 PM, people of all walks of life come together for a community meal and liturgy.
Cook for community mealsGuadalupe House always needs donations of new or used socks, razors, towels, washcloths, underwear, toilet paper, feminine hygiene products, laundry detergent, and fresh dairy and meat products.
Welcome and direct guests at Guadalupe House
Help answer the door during shower times, help serve and greet guests (especially for Tuesday liturgy)
Minor house repairs
Do simple repairs, redecorate a bedroom, etc.
Coordinate in-kind donation drives
For more information or to receive their newsletter, call the Worker at 253.572.6582 (Monday through Friday, between 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM) or stop by for Tuesday’s liturgy.
Habitat For Humanity
Habitat for Humanity is an ecumenical Christian organization committed to building simple, decent housing with the poor at no interest and for no profit. The Tacoma/Pierce County chapter currently is building sixteen houses a year, and the St. Leo community shares in the volunteer labor by having two Saturday workdays a year - one in the fall and one in the spring.
For more information please contact the Habitat for Humanity office at 253.627.5626.
L’Arche Tahoma Hope
L’Arche Tahoma Hope is a community inspired by the Gospel values of the Beatitudes. The community is comprised of women and men, married and single, religious and lay, who have chosen to share life with people with developmental disabilities. L’Arche has four homes; the Farm and Gardens; and Noah’s Workshop, a day program. Volunteers are needed at the Farm and Gardens and at Noah’s Workshop.
L’Arche Farm VolunteerFor more information or to volunteer please call the L’Arche office at 253.535.3178 or visit http://www.larchethc.org/.
Work at the Farm and Gardens from 9 AM to 3:30 PM Monday through Friday with core members of L’Arche
Crafter at Noah’s Workshop
Doing crafts, writing letters, having coffee, or going on outings from 10 AM to 2 PM Monday through Friday. (For more information please call Sue at 253.537.7540.)
People are also welcome to volunteer in the homes - become a friend, prepare a meal, play a game, go for walks, go shopping at the mall, take a ferry ride, go to a movie, etc.
The L'Honey Program
L’Honey is a collaborative venture between St. Leo Parish and L’Arche Farm that promotes sustainable beekeeping and hive product development that supports the social business model. We operate four small apiary sites and produce our own hive products. Our focus is on education, care for the environment, and the inclusion of vulnerable adults in business and agricultural activities.
During the honeybee season (June through September) work with the beekeeper in hive management
Bee Hive Product Making
Work with beekeeper, volunteers, youth, and L’Arche core and staff in developing and creating products from our hive for L’Arche market sales
(NOTE) The L’Honey Beekeeper is willing to work with educators and student groups in the promotion of sustainable beekeeping and caring for our environment.
For more information on the L’Honey Program please contact Rick Samyn at 253.272.5136 ext. 102 or email@example.com.
The Neighborhood Clinic is grounded in the belief that healing occurs where physical and medical care is accompanied by consistent emotional support and a regard for the whole person. In response to the call of the Spirit, the clinic serves patients who cannot afford or lack access to regular medical care. Clinic hours are on Mondays and Thursdays from 5 PM to 8 PM.
Medical ProfessionalsFor more information please contact Ben Carpenter at 253.627.6353 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nurses, physicians, counselors, and social workers are needed.
Noah’s Pet Project
The mission of Noah’s Pet Project is to provide preventative and/or occasional health care for pets of low income and elderly residents of Tacoma and Pierce County, to help control pet overpopulation, and to provide education to our clients. We are a nonprofit clinic run completely by volunteers with a budget consisting of donations. The clinic is held on the second Sunday of each month at Clip-n-Clean Dog Daycare at 6th and North Oaks St. in Tacoma, from noon to 2:00 PM (doors open at 9 AM). Services are limited and you may be asked to present proof of low income/elderly status.
Volunteer Opportunities and/or to Support The Cause:
For more information or ways to volunteer/help, please visit our website at www.noahspetproject-tacoma.org.
Operation Keep ‘Em Warm and Fed
Operation Keep ‘Em Warm and Fed provides blankets, food, coffee, and vitamins to the indigent, the homeless, and those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction in Tacoma’s inner city. They serve 60 to 80 people a day, and hope to expand the service by getting more community members involved and offering boiled eggs, more nutritious food, and fellowship. Operation Keep’ Em Warm and Fed provides opportunities to both those in need and those who don’t know how they can help. Donations of cups, spoons, bowls, eggs, pastries, health bars, vitamins, coffee, sugar, cream, the utensils to prepare those things, and blankets are needed.
Sandwich MakersFor more information please contact Michael Krist-Sterbick at 253.272.5804.
Groups or individuals willing to make sandwiches to be delivered to the rectory for street distribution on Tuesday and Thursday.
Short order cooks
To coordinate with Michael Krist-Sterbick the preparation of food items that are nutritious but manageable for street distribution to the homeless.
To work with Michael and other volunteers in the distribution of food and to offer kindness and fellowship to those out on the streets. Also, to seek resources and sponsors for the ministry.
Catholic Criminal Justice Ministry
Formerly Catholic Detention Ministry, Catholic Criminal Justice Ministry serves women, men, and young people incarcerated in state and county detention facilities in all of Western Washington.
Lay Pastoral Care ProviderFor more information please call Erica at 206.382.1477 or e-mail email@example.com. An additional contact is Rosa at 206.382.4868.
Volunteers are needed to lead or assist with scripture studies and liturgies. People are also needed to write letters, pray with people, and be a general pastoral presence.
Catholic Community Services
Catholic Community Services is the largest private social service agency in Western Washington, serving over 50,000 people each year. Ninety percent of those served are at or below the poverty level.
For more information please visit their website at http://www.ccsww.org, or call the CCSWW Tahoma Center at 253.502.2600.
There are many volunteer opportunities. Here is a selection of some of their programs:
CCS is always looking for foster parents and respite foster parents. Foster parents and respite foster parents will receive stipends. Spanish speakers are needed. Call 253.502.2745 Para información específica del Programa Internacional de Cuidado de Crianza llame al 253.502.2767.
The Hospitality Kitchen and Nativity House Drop-In Center
The Hospitality Kitchen is located next door to St. Leo Church. Volunteers are welcome Monday through Friday between 6:30 AM and 12:30 PM. Serving on average 800 meals a day, the Hospitality Kitchen is one of the largest hot meal programs for the homeless community in Washington State.
The Nativity House provides day shelter, meals, community, and personal assistance to people who are homeless. Their services are available to anyone in need. The mission of Nativity House is deeply rooted in the teachings and deeds of Jesus as expressed in the Gospels. Nativity House is located at 2304 S. Jefferson. They are open Monday, Thursday, and Friday from 12:00 PM till 5:00 PM, and Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 AM till 5:00 PM.
Line ServerFor more information regarding volunteer needs and opportunities contact Volunteer Coordinator/Program Assistant – Homeless and Adult Services at 253.502.2763.
Help serve hot meal portions to Hospitality Kitchen patrons
Help prepare meal ingredients for breakfast and lunch meal
In-Kind Donation Promotion
Coordinate in-kind donation such as personal hygiene products, socks, and blankets to aid those in need
Phoenix Housing Network
Phoenix Housing Network is located at 7050 S. G. St. in Tacoma. PHN is open seven days a week. PHN empowers homeless and at-risk families to achieve and maintain permanent housing by helping them gain skills and overcome barriers to self-sufficiency. Volunteer opportunities at Day Center include office work, laundry, child care, monitors, and the clothing bank.
Volunteer Opportunities: (Two-thousand volunteers participate in Phoenix Housing Network programs each year)
Host Site Volunteer
Childcare at Day Center
Mentors or Sponsors for Youth
Day Center Grounds Keeping
Help Move Families into Housing
Light Repairs & Maintenance
PHN Advisory Board
Suited for Success Clothing Boutique
If you would like to learn more about how your church can become a PHN host site, call our Volunteer Coordinator at 253.471.5340 ext. 24.
Volunteer Chore Service
Volunteer Chore Services provides low-income adults with disabilities by providing help with household tasks so that the clients may stay in their own homes. Volunteer Chore Services serves seniors who are 60or older, and disabled adults who are 18 or older. Services are provided free of charge.
Household Chore WorkerFor more information please call 253.502.2741.
Help with caring for the home doing general cleaning and chores of daily living
Helper with Yard Work
Help maintain the outside landscape of the home
Personal Care Assistant
Help disabled individual care for themselves to promote dignity and wellbeing