DePaul University Division of Mission and Ministry > Community Service > Alternative Break Service Immersions >
Connect with Vincentian Volunteers in an urban setting. Explore the effects of poverty on marginalized communities including; industry and the environment, employment, hunger and homelessness with an emphasis on the effects that these issues have on children. Live and work in a communal setting that supports intentional living, service, spirituality and social justice.
Los Angeles, California
Examine the realities of homelessness in one of the United States’ largest cities. Explore the stark contrast between corporate L.A. while you live and work on skid row, a neighborhood of men, women and children experiencing homelessness located only a few blocks from LA’s financial center. Serve in organizations focused on empowering marginalized people of this region. Experience an intentional, communal, and spiritual-oriented lifestyle that focuses on service and social justice.
Tuba City, Arizona
Immerse yourself on a Native American Reservation and learn about a people who are often isolated. Devote 7 days to the children and families of the reservation in educational and community development settings. Take this opportunity to deepen your awareness of social injustice as it relates to the Native American community. The service work will focus on responding to the needs of the community. Experience communal living with an emphasis on simplicity, service, and spirituality.
San Salvador, El Salvador
Share the lives and history of the people of El Salvador for nine days. You will stay with the CrisPaz organization in San Salvador. There you may serve in the parish day care center, an elderly care center, an orphanage and/or other ministries with the Daughters of Charity. The immersion may also include traveling to Perquin, a rural community. Service will include learning about and listening to the stories of the people you will meet; what their lives were like before the Civil War, during the war (1980 -1992) and since the peace accords of 1992. You will also have the opportunity to visit historical and spiritual sites, including memorial sites of people executed because of their opposition to human rights abuses and violent repression by the military during the 1970's and 80's. The El Salvador immersion also focuses on the Latin American migration experience and the challenges that modern immigrants face.
Dive into our own backyard and explore the Vincentian mission beyond DePaul University. Immerse yourself for a week with the Daughters of Charity at Marillac House to work with youth and learn about grassroots communities committed to making change in different neighborhoods in the city.
East St. Louis / St. Louis
Join the Daughters of Charity in their powerful ministries in East St. Louis. Students will stay at the Hubbard House and learn about social issues and life in East St Louis. Students will be able to grow relationships with others through a variety of hands-on service. Placements may include: helping at a day care, working with senior citizens, helping in a soup kitchen, tutoring adults and children, and working at a homeless shelter.
St. Louis, Missouri
Meet fellow first year students, and learn more about the political, economic, social and cultural influences that are a part of the everyday reality for the people of St. Louis. Become a part of the Vincentian spirit of DePaul. The interaction will be with current post-graduate volunteers in Vincentian Volunteer Corps program. Service will range from tutoring children, building projects and accompanying the elderly. Service projects will respond to the ever-changing needs of the community.
New York, New York
Explore the call to justice and advocacy through the lenses of many different faith traditions. This interfaith immersion explores the many ways that people of faith are making a difference in their city, nation, and world.
Immerse into an urban Philadelphia neighborhood and collaborate with Vincentian and Daughters of Charity communities in their ministry. Work with children, families and elderly in education, community development, and faith-based settings. Learn about the justice issues surrounding urban poverty and how this community addresses them.
Walk with people experiencing homelessness, and explore the struggles they face. Learn about the complex underpinnings of this issue and how different organizations address it. Service includes soup kitchen, shelters, and transitional living homes.
Spend a week working with DePaul USA’s Daybreak program, a day shelter for people experiencing homelessness. DePaul USA is a part of DePaul International, which seeks to end homeless worldwide. Here, students will learn about the complexity of homelessness and what it takes to create structural change.
Explore the American civil rights movement-past, present and future. Work with children with severe developmental disabilities, tutor and mentor students in K-8 school; serve senior residents in a skilled nursing facility.
New Orleans, Louisiana
There is a great deal of rebuilding efforts occurring in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. This immersion offers students the opportunity to engage in service with the community in their rebuilding efforts. Service will be physically demanding (cleanup of neighborhoods, removing sheetrock, and clearing of debris are possible service opportunities). However, our service responds to the ever-changing needs of the community. Applicants should be aware of the strenuous nature of this immersion before making it a top choice.
Join our Vincentian family, and learn about Fredrick Ozanam, the founder of the St. Vincent DePaul Society. In Cincinnati you will connect and engage with poverty and justice issues. Some of the engagement activities may include the following: home visits with St. Vincent de Paul members, preparing and sharing a meal with residents of the West End or Over-the-Rhine, or participating in a hip-hop dance class.