St. Columba Sunday 3:45-7:15
Kairos and St. Columba are Part of Project Home www.projecthome.org
St. Columba is a "Safe Haven" for chronically homeless seriously mentally ill men. It consists of 25 semi-private dormitory style beds on the first floor and fifteen single room occupancy units on the third floor. St. Columba's offers a small scale environment for the most vulnerable homeless population, many of whom are older, physically frail and unable or unwilling to negotiate the larger shelters due to untreated mental health issues sometimes combined with active drug & alcohol use and/or poor physical health. The dormitory beds are for those residents coming directly from living on the streets. The single rooms are for residents that have acquired some stability with respect to self care, ability to maintain their personal space, paying rent and food fees, and reduced substance use and involvement in activities that promote personal growth and overall well-being. The program provides 24 hour staff support, medication monitoring and all meals. Case Managers provide onsite support and referrals to community resources such as mental/physical health services, drug & alcohol services, education, employment (supported and non-supported), recreational activities and weekly on site nursing services
What do you do at St. Columbas and Kairos Meal Preparation and serving--
This can be a challenging environment as many of the men and women have recently been living on the streets of Philadelphia. Some of the residents have been diagnosed with mental illness. You must have patience with the people of Kairos and St. Columba and find relationship and humanity with the poorest of the poor.
This site is for those who find success in “being with,” those who others ignore and possible judge. You may be assigned to help a resident keep their room clean and teaching organizationa; skills. Games or activities may be planned with residents.
What our students say about St. Columba—
"St. Columba is a Project H.O.M.E. transitional living house for men currently struggling with mental illness and addiction. It is unique from other homes since they respect the human dignity and autonomy of men by not forcing treatment of any specific lifestyle changes. Thus the men are able to live and heal themselves at their own pace. Villanova SLC students can serve at St. Columba every Sunday afternoon 3:45 - 7:15 during the school year. There they will be providing company for the residents during their dinner hours. The students will be helping finish food preparations for dinner when they arrive, however the crux of serving at St. Columba is about building personal relationships with the residents. Not only does this enhance the resident’s lives by having outside conversation, but the students are able to learn, through personal experience, the causes of homelessness. I have learned many narrative stories of residents who come from all walks of life to end up experiencing homelessness. This includes, severe depression leading to an inability to hold a job, chronic physical pain leading to drug abuse and consequentially addiction, a physical handicap making it difficult to get hired, psychosis severe enough that the fear of seeking treatment keeps them ill, a college degree and major of study that no longer has ample job opportunities, and more. At St. Columba, the causes of homelessness leave the textbook and enter your own life.
There are a total of five spots available for students. Those willing