Dignity at the End of Life

Among the most vulnerable in our city are those who are homeless and diagnosed with a terminal illness – a situation that cries out for profound compassion.

To find a way to ease the suffering of those living – and sometimes dying – on the streets, Pilgrims Hospice initiated a partnership with Catholic Social Services (CSS). Less than a year later, CSS opened the doors of St. Joseph’s Home, a ministry founded to provide dignity to the terminally ill homeless.

Compassionate Companions are specially trained volunteers through Pilgrims Hospice. They visit St. Joe’s seven days a week, bringing dignity, friendship and care to the lives of the residents.St. Joseph’s Home provides a place of safety and love for the homeless, and a peaceful place for residents to spend their last few days or weeks of life. Wherever possible, staff support residents to re-connect with family and friends. For individuals who’ve lived traumatic and marginalized lives, living at St. Joe’s can be a time of healing and reconciliation.

Jane (pictured with Lester), says: “Even in the face of death, I see a man proud of his culture and proud of the man he has become. He doesn’t fear death but sees it as a journey. It’s a privilege to share that journey with him.”

Karen de la Salle, manager of St. Joe’s, is grateful for the support Pilgrims provides:

“Pilgrims volunteers enhance the services at St. Joe’s and have a huge impact, helping residents emotionally and spiritually. Often residents don’t have the support of family or friends – volunteers fill the gap and make their lives more meaningful.”

2018-02-12T17:01:28-06:00 December 11th, 2017|Compassionate Companions, Stories|