While working towards meeting the needs or our customers, Sacred Heart Community Service engages the community and inspires volunteers to love, serve, and share. We have developed the Immersion programs to examine the social, economic, spiritual, and political causes of poverty in our community.
We offer four different experiences: social justice immersions, faith and justice immersions, homeless immersions and poverty simulations.
To participate in an immersion program or for more information, please contact Carol Stephenson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 408-916-5075.
Social Justice Immersion
This program provides participants with a unique experience to come face to face with those in need. Your group will interact with our customers, work throughout our agency, build relationships with each other, and reflect on the meaning of being loving and compassionate to our neighbors. The Social Justice program offers incredible opportunities for deep personal and community transformation as we discuss issues of poverty and the social injustices that exist in our society.
Faith and Justice Immersion
When we attempt to live out our faith and spiritual beliefs, we find that we are called to love our neighbor through acts of compassion — compassion towards all people, especially those in need. One way to begin this work is to draw near and see. This is what our Faith & Justice Immersion Program offers—the opportunity to draw near to our neighbors, specifically those who are systematically disregarded by the larger society. We cannot begin our work of justice and compassion unless we are willing to actually meet the poor face to face as brother and sister.
Your group will interact with our customers, work in our integrated programs, and build relationships with each other. We will reflect on our own spirituality and beliefs to examine ways that we can continuously put our faith into action. We will discuss the moral responsibility in our lives and the relationship it has with our work of justice and compassion.
This program gives participants a momentary glimpse into the lives led by 20,000 of their neighbors each year with the goal of leading them into greater service of people living without shelter. Participants spend a day as a homeless individual receiving services from different agencies in our community. They have a chance to "become" a customer, interact with our impoverished neighbors and reflect on their transformative experience. At the end of the experience, participants are invited and encouraged to take action in service of the poor.
The poverty simulation program accommodates larger groups of 40-80 participants, and helps participants to understand the challenges facing their neighbors who try to make ends meet with limited resources. The participants are assigned specific family roles, and they simply have to live their lives in the small community by accessing services, attending work, feeding their families, etc. The point of the simulation is to show just how difficult, frustrating and exhausting your life can be when you do not have enough.
The simulation program lasts about three hours including the simulation and a reflection session where participants discuss their experiences, issues of local poverty, and the next steps to continuing their involvement.
The minimum grade requirement to participate in the simulation is high school and above.