The Diocese of Des Moines
A mission for the entire community
Ken Bresnan, Parish Outreach Liaison for Catholic Charities
A mission for the entire community
August 23, 2010
Written By: Trish Radke

Yesterday, Ken Bresnan, Catholic Charities' Parish Outreach Liaison, spoke about St. Joseph Shelter at several services at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Des Moines. This congregation has had a strong tie to St. Joseph by providing evening meals for years, and in 2008 they led an effort to remodel the entrance and office area at the shelter (part of the shelter that is not part of the current remodel).


Below is an excerpt of Ken's Sunday's visit at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd:


I would like you to think for a moment. Picture yourself as a young boy named Joseph or a young girl named Mary, and you are eight years old. Things have not been going well for your family for quite awhile. You are tired and hungry. You come to St. Joseph Shelter where you are welcomed with food, a bed and maybe what you need most...structure. The structure that lets you believe that you will get three meals a day, not just food every so often. The structure of knowing that you can do laundry and you can have clean clothes every day.  The structure and security to know there is toothpaste, brushes and shampoo. You can be safe when your parents have to leave to do what needs to be done to get their life in order.
When a family comes to the shelter, St. Joseph Shelter provides food and shelter for thirty days, but that is just the beginning. 
  • We help them find financial assistance that they quality for
  • We work with them on finding a place to live
  • We work with them to find child care
  • We assist them in finding transportation 
  • We work with helping the kids to get in or stay in school. 
  • We connect them to outside resources.
  • We work with Primary Outreach who comes into the shelter to assist with finding the resources for medical and dental needs.
  • We act as ombudsman and advocates to help families navigate systems successfully



So many different churches and groups have volunteered and donated to St. Joseph Shelter over the years-- very visibly making the mission one that the entire community is committed to. We are so grateful for all of these efforts!  


If you are interested in having Ken speak at your parish, to a church group, or even at a business you can contact him at 515-237-5089 or Save to


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