14-year-old girl walks into her house.

Catholic Worker House Opens Up to Serve Families In Need

“I never could have imagined something so big and beautiful. I already feel like it’s my home.” – Emeline, 14 years old.

Emeline and her family escaped violence in El Salvador before being taken in by the Catholic Worker House in Oakland. On Saturday, they were introduced to their new home, furnished with the support of our donors and Chipman Relocation and Logistics volunteers.

The 4-unit home for immigrant and refugee families in Oakland was completely empty when we were introduced to it just a couple months ago.  The hope was to house three families and staff, but they didn’t have furniture or appliances yet. 

I never could have imagined something so big and beautiful. I already feel like it’s my home.”

house with empty backyard
Empty living room
Living Room
Empty Kitchen
Kitchen
Empty room
Bedroom

We reached out to Chipman Relocation and Logistics who volunteered their man and woman power to get the job done! With their hard work and your generous donations, we were able to outfit  ALL four homes in under four hours!!

Two women holding up shower curtain rod.
Installing shower curtains.
Group photo
Chipman Relocation and Logistics volunteers
Man pushing basketball hoop upright.
Installing a basketball hoop.

Each family will have their own living space, which volunteers worked hard to complete. Bunk beds were built, furniture was set up, beds were made, kitchens were outfitted and volunteers even landscaped the backyard! 

Three people holding mattresses
Volunteers install bunk beds.
People in the yard
Landscaping the backyard.

 Thank you for your part in making this a dream come true for these families!

You not only gave them a gorgeously decorated and equipped home, you gave them beds for restful nights, a table to join together for family meals, and endless hours of playtime with toys and bikes! Your generous donations will live on for years, as families move out and become self-sufficient, and other families move in and share the gifts you gave last weekend.

Bedroom with large bed and two bunkbeds
Bedroom complete with two bunk beds and a double bed for a big family.
Lisandro, age 3, can't wait to finally move in.
Bunk bed, changing table with diapers on top.
In the other bedroom they have bunk beds , toys and a changing table for all the babies who will occupy the home.
Queen bed
Bedrooms for the volunteer live-in staff were complete with desks and comfortable new beds and bedding!
Kitchen
Kitchen with new appliances.
Kids playing basketball
Kids playing basketball
Playing basketball.
Little girl on her bike
6-year-old Esmaralin

The kids were most excited about the yard and the basketball hoop. The former Catholic Worker House was on a busy street without a gated yard.

“Look at this garden and this driveway,” said Esmaralin, 6 years old. “Now I can finally learn how to ride a bike!”

Big brother Vladimir, 10 years,  jumped on a bike and zipped by us saying, “I don’t like this house – I LOVE this house!”

 “I don’t like this house – I LOVE this house!” – Vladimir, age 10

A special thank you to our Grateful Gatherings Sponsor Chipman Relocation and Logistics for giving their time, energy and talents!

A special thank you to an anonymous donor who donated funds to supply all the appliances for ALL 4 houses! A shout out to John at Airport Appliance in Concord for giving us a great deal!

Thank you to landscape designer Nancy Scanlon and her volunteers who brought an endless supply of energy and muscle weeding the yard and planting trees and plants.

Catholic Worker's House staff and the kids. Left to right: Bob, Esmaralin, Molly, Emeline, Lisandro, Vladimir, and CJ

Bob LaSalle, Vice-Chair of the Board of Catholic Worker House, spoke to the group and wanted to share this with all of our donors.

On behalf of the entire Oakland Catholic Worker community of guests, staff, and volunteers, please accept our heartfelt and sincere thanks for the amazing gift of dignity and joy shared with us last weekend by the Grateful Gathering Community. The children were so excited by the bikes, the dolls and the many toys, and the quiet beauty of their new home brings a sigh of relief to their parents from the many traumas they have survived. Please know that we pray for each and every volunteer and donor who helped make this incredible event possible.

Stay in touch with Grateful Gatherings! We’re in Danville Saturday and will be posting updates via Instagram and Facebook.

Thank you and looking forward to seeing you next time!

Leave a Comment