St. Joseph Missions wouldn’t exist today if not for the faith, conviction, and love of Dave MacDonald
The husband, father, and new grandfather, helped get our non-profit group off the ground after serving the homeless in Fort Wayne for many years as part of Catholics on a Mission.
“Every person is created in God’s image and has inherent value. Christ calls us to serve him by serving His people through Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy,” says Dave. “Mother Teresa was a role model for us. She encouraged serving the people right in front of you — to be missionaries wherever God has planted you.”
God planted Dave and others in downtown Fort Wayne where “simply sharing a sandwich, a cup of coffee, a smile, a kind word, and God’s love, we experienced community as the Body of Christ.”
It became apparent that while programs and social services were already in place, many of their friends were slipping through the cracks.
That’s why Dave and others felt called to close the gap by wanting to create the St. Joseph Missions Women’s Shelter.
“As a culture, we’re losing the ability to make real connections with real people who need our help,” explains Dave. “Single, homeless women are among the most vulnerable and we have a responsibility to watch over and protect the most vulnerable God has put in our lives. They are our mothers, grandmothers, sisters, daughters, and friends.”
We need your help if we’re going to help our homeless sisters in our community.
As a mother and grandmother, Susan Byers feels a strong calling to help the homeless. It started with Saint Jude Catholic Church youth ministry program by taking high school teens downtown to serve the homeless.
That experience and her commitment to Catholics on a Mission outreach, has led Susan to volunteer to serve on the St. Joseph Missions Board.
“Of all populations, the single, female homeless is one that should have shelter most of all,” says Susan, who works as Director of Student Success for the Doermer School of Business at Purdue University Fort Wayne.
Which is why she’s so dedicated to seeing the creation of the St. Joseph’s Missions Women’s Shelter.
“I believe strongly in advocating for those who may not be in a position to have much of a voice and speak their need. Through the shelter, we can connect women with appropriate resources in Fort Wayne and help them build the support network they need to have a better life and create a more hopeful future.”
Thank you Sharon Kacprowicz for your tireless service to the St. Joseph Missions Board of Directors. We will miss you but we also know that you’re still going to give your time and talent to a mission for which you care so deeply.
We’re a lot closer to the reality of our community’s first emergency homeless shelter for single women because of how much you love and how hard you work to help those in need.
Joseph Schenkel not only has a passion for helping the poor, he’s using his talents and knowledge to help change the trajectory of their lives.
As our board treasurer, Joe, who also volunteers for the St. Vincent de Paul Society - Fort Wayne, is applying his considerable financial expertise and non-profit background to assist in the creation of the St. Joseph Missions Women’s Shelter (SJMWS).
“After serving with the outreach of Catholics on a Mission, I became more aware of the plight of the single woman who finds herself without a home,” says Joe, a husband, father, and grandfather.
Something has to be done to assist single homeless women — and Joe believes the SJMWS can make a life-changing difference in our community.
“St. Joseph Missions will help allow women to start working towards reaching their goals and changing their lives.”