The Hard Work of Living

Recently when the weather was softening a little and the trees were almost in bloom, Dwight finished breakfast, left the table to smoke a cigarette on the porch and walked away from Joseph’s House. For months he had been longing to get back to the part of town where he had lived most of his life. Much of Dwight’s adult life had centered around a …read more »

The Legacy of Ryan White

August 18th marked the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Ryan White CARE Act, creating a program that has saved the lives of thousands upon thousands of people living with HIV. Earlier this year, Joseph’s House received a Partnership Award from the CAEAR Coalition as they prepared to go on Capitol Hill to advocate on behalf of funding for the …read more »

Malcolm’s Prayers

It’s late afternoon, nightfall in early December. An hour ago, guided by the soft glow of holiday lights, we accompanied Malcolm’s body outside through the sharp air, from the shimmering darkness of Joseph’s House to the funeral home van. This is what we do at Joseph’s House. We open our hearts and respectfully go the distance with every person who …read more »

A Smile That Melts Your Heart

Walking past Chrisann’s room, I saw that the lights were off and a low gray light bathed the room on a rainy, stormy afternoon. Ann and Pat, our two nurses, were both sitting quietly. That struck me as unusual. If I see them together in a resident’s room they are usually busy, cleaning or adjusting someone in the bed, or trying to understand a …read more »

Going Home

This morning one of our residents, a young man with late-stage cancer, flew home to Central America – back to a country and a family he had not seen since he left 11 years ago. His journey home, which actually began several weeks ago, took a small village of people to make happen. When Alberto arrived at Joseph’s House from a local inpatient …read more »

“Te Iubesc”

Lying in her bed, Colette was teaching a few of us how to say “I love you” in her native Romanian. “Te iubesc,” we struggled to say with an accent that matched hers. Though I first met Colette six or seven years ago, when she first lived at Joseph’s House, it was the first time I’d heard her speak in her native tongue, which she had started to …read more »

NPR: “A Big Helping of Christmas Compassion at Joseph’s House”

Rachel Martin, host of NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday came for breakfast to get a sense of what Joseph’s House is like around the holidays. The tree was decorated, the lights were up and there was plenty of hot coffee.  There was definitely a sense of holiday cheer in the air, but in most ways the breakfast was like it is on other days. Plenty of …read more »

When We Dwell in Compassion

  Sometimes a person we invite to Joseph’s House for shelter longs for a different home. Zoe cannot be comforted. For many years she lived on the streets and for years at a time had no contact with her mother. Dying now, of liver disease, she was referred to Joseph’s House a few months ago for hospice care. Since then Zoe and her …read more »

In Their Words: a Year of Service at Joseph’s House

Our year-long volunteers are finishing up their service at Joseph's House. In these videos, they reflect on their time here, sharing their thoughts on everything from what makes our community life possible and the experience of sitting vigil to the power of laughter in a home that cares for the dying. Neshia Alaovae, Jesuit Volunteer …read more »

Endings and Beginnings

By Tina Bolt Tina came to Joseph’s House in the fall of 2011 through the Mennonite Voluntary Service. Following her year as a full-time volunteer, Tina joined the staff as a resident care aide. She’ll be spending the summer with her family in Michigan before heading to Portland, Oregon, for her next adventures. Endings and beginnings are the …read more »