Recently members of the Christian Action Commission shared a meal with Bishop Kevin Rhoades and residents of Dismas House. Parishioners are invited to join members of the Christian Action Commission every other month in preparing and sharing a meal with residents. If you would be interested in this ministry, please call Linda Fitzpatrick at the parish office for more information.
The South Bend, Indiana, Dismas House was organized through the efforts of a task group of the United Religious Community of St. Joseph County (URC). URC volunteers were involved in a visitation program, Inmate-Outmate, at the IN State Prison in Michigan City, IN. Through their prison ministry they discovered that there was a great need for a safe place for offenders to go upon their release. They were interested in opening a half way house. Carol Gayles, a student from the University of Notre Dame, completed a summer internship at the Nashville Dismas House. She linked the URC task group to the national office of Dismas, Inc.
The task group was impressed with the Dismas House Concept so they worked with the Dismas, Inc. staff and volunteers to open project house in South Bend, IN. The South Bend Dismas House was formed in March 1986 and opened its doors to residents in August 1986. Dismas, Inc., serves as the administrator of the project houses and oversees the payroll, insurance, audit, etc. Project houses share Dismas, Inc.’s 501 (c) (3). At each project house there is a local Advisory Board and Advisory Council. Volunteers and staff from each house are responsible for raising sufficient funds to operate the local project houses.
- Prepare and share a meal with residents
- Mentor a resident
- “Adopt a Room”
- House Maintenance
- Provide employment opportunities
- Donate clothing, food, furniture
- Become a financial sponsor
- Residential program for university and college students