STORIES

Tacoma Catholic Worker Village

Hilltop
May 14, 2018
in Parish Stories

In the Hilltop neighborhood of Tacoma, Washington, the Catholic Worker community walks together with people on the journey out of homelessness. This is a guiding expression in the area, grown through the collaboration of neighbors and organizations around G Street that assist in housing, feeding and advocating for affordable living and sustainable employment. Here’s a neighborhood snapshot of the community.

The Tacoma Catholic Worker centers around transitional housing around living in the Guadalupe House. The urban garden reminds us that we are part of the growth, rest, and renewal that takes place in God’s Creation. In the garden we grow food that sustains body and spirit.

Rooted in the Hilltop neighborhood has created a place of hospitality that is known to the greater Tacoma area. We inhabit and recognize the ecology of ourselves with the bees, chickens, cats. This all help us recognize we are but a small contribution to the beautification of our city.

For 35 years every week we gather for liturgy and dinner to feed the stranger and friend who comes to participate as an equal to the table. Our relationships provide an opportunity for healing and community. During the week, sandwiches, socks and blankets are given out while being a steward of individual empowerment.

We walk with people who are on the margins of society: immigrants, veterans, addicts, convicts, the mentally ill, and the infirm. Collaborating with groups such as the Madrinas and New Connections next door who provide a support network for women and their children coming out of incarceration and with organizations such as Aid Northwest who support people coming out of the Northwest Immigrant Detention Center. To the larger community, we offer opportunities to pray together, to participate in social justice work in earthy, theatrical, and dissident ways.

Partnering with Parish Collective has been fruitful to being linked to numerous parish expressions. Jesuit Volunteers who stay with us for a year of service allow a mutual learning of intergenerational wisdom. Pilgrims from peace walks and activist groups give a greater voice to sharing in solidarity to global issues of immigration and nuclear disarmament. We continue to weave links so we can continue to be encouraged by similar communities.