Learning About Poverty in My Town Essay

Learning About Poverty in My Town Essay

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For my service learning I volunteered at Viva House. I have been going on Wednesdays every week for almost 3 months now. While I have been there, I have been able to see first hand how poverty and crime have affected the people in Baltimore. Living and studying at Loyola, I never was aware of how poor and depressed some parts of Baltimore are, but volunteering at Viva House has opened my eyes and made me very aware of the reality that the people who live in these areas of Baltimore face. I have come to realize that much of the material that was taught in class plays a role at Viva House and the surrounding area. One concept in particular is liberation ethics, “an ethical approach that begins from the perspective of the oppressed” (Dr. Kiess). To be able to see the parallel between the concepts of liberation ethics and the mission and activities of Viva House, first one must know what Viva House is.
“Viva House is a Catholic Worker House of Hospitality and Resistance in the tradition of Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin”(Walsh, Brendan). Brendan Walsh and Willa Bickham started Viva House in 1968 because they both were drawn to the Catholic Worker movement which was founded by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin in New York City in 1933. There are four concrete strategies to the Catholic Worker movement, which are writing, voluntary poverty, houses of hospitality, and farming communes. Writing was the first thing that Dorothy Day made sure to do by starting the Catholic Worker newspaper. The Catholic Worker movement began as a newspaper because Day and Maurin wanted to try to inform and give hope to those who were unemployed during the Depression. The newspaper was created to inform people about social issues, war, poverty, and working condit...

... middle of paper ...

...that I learned to embrace the people who came to Viva House and learned from them how to be a better person.

Works Cited

Burtle, Adam. "Structural Violence." Structural Violence. N.p., 210-2013. Web. 21 Apr. 2014.

"Conscientization - Freire Institute." Conscientization - Freire Institute. Freire Institute, University of Central Lancashire, 2014. Web. 21 Apr. 2014.

Day, Dorothy. "Farming Communes". The Catholic Worker, February 1944, 1,8. The Catholic Worker Movement. Web. 21 Apr. 2014

Dr. Kiess. Powerpoint notes on Liberation Ethics and the Catholic Worker.

"Liberation Theology." BBC News. BBC, 18 July 2011. Web. 21 Apr. 2014.

Pitts, Jonathan. "Baltimore's Viva House Has Brought Hospitality to the Homeless for 45 Years." Baltimore Sun. N.p., 14 Apr. 2013. Web. 21 Apr. 2014.

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