For the months from November through April, when work is scarce and need is great, St.
Clare's Corner operates as a place for emergency food in East Salinas. In 2000 as many as
200 families a week received food and clothing at St. Clare's. By serving the neighborhood
in which the Franciscan Workers live, we extend God's love to another area of the Salinas
In the year 2000 we received a grant from the Women's Foundation to expand our work with the women and girls from the Soledad and Gonzales farm worker camps. The women in the Franciscan Workers community identified three areas of intense need. The first was a women's health clinic. So with the help of Dr. Tunzi and staff at Natividad Medical Center, several women were able to get exams and lab work at no cost to them.
The other components of the project involved encouraging mothers from the camps to spend quality time with their adolescent daughters outside of the home where chores and child care dominate their relationship. We combined this outing with the purchasing of clean and pretty bedding for each daughter. The bedding is picked out by the girls with their mother's help at the store of their choice. This encourages the girls and mothers to appreciate the importance of the girls ownership over her own sleeping space. In most cases, the apartments at the camps are so small that several of the children have to sleep together on the floor. We hope this safe bedding activity and mother-daughter outing will bring the mothers and daughters closer together ans raise self-esteem in the girls.
The Immersion Experience ia a period of three days to two weeks when groups of youth and young adults from high schools, youth groups, or universities come and stay at Dorthy's Place. The students participate in the daily activities of the Franciscan Workers at the Hospitality Center and in our various ministries.
The primary goal of the Immersion Experience is to facilitate the building of relationships between young people and the poor we serve. These very human connections form the framework for understanding the reality of poverty, homelessness, hunger, and marginalization. This new found understanding will, we hope, lead these young people to both a commitment to social justice and to a lifelong commitment to service.
California State University Monterey Bay named Dorthy's Hospitality Center an opptional site for their Service Learning Project. CSUMB's mission states: "...(We are) dedicated to building partnerships that cross institutional boundries for innovation and coordinated community service." In 2000 thirty-five students completed their thirty service hours in both the Kitchen and Day Room. Through their work at Dorthy's they learn the importance of social justice and saw a dimension of inequality in today's society.