History of André House
André House Origin
André House of Arizona became more than a concept on October 1, 1984, when two Holy Cross priests from Notre Dame rented a house in a working-class neighborhood in Phoenix. They came to live in the community and serve in the tradition of the Congregation of Holy Cross and the Catholic Worker Movement (co-founded by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin). Their mission was to respond to the basic needs of the poor and homeless people while encouraging others to do the same. On November 29, 1984, the first guest was welcomed, beginning a long tenure of hospitality. Shortly thereafter a community of volunteers formed to minister to the needs of the guests and the neighborhood.
André House’s First Meal
On Christmas night, 1984, the André House a community of volunteers made a thick turkey stew from donated food and served it at a nearby city shelter. The recipients were deeply appreciative and the volunteers enthusiastic. From this humble beginning, the food-line developed: serving one night a week, then two, then three… Volunteers and donations increased and the evening meal is now offered six nights a week, serving on average 600 plates per night.
For over 9 years the food for the evening meal was prepared daily in the backyard of the men’s house (1002 W. Polk St.). Volunteers would join the staff for several hours in the afternoon, chopping vegetables, buttering bread, and preparing the food for transit. Then they would take the food (and tables on which to serve it) down to the “shelter district” (close to the present building) and serve whoever wanted to eat. continue reading …
What Andre House Does
What do you do at André House? It is a question I hear at least once a day. “Well, we have dinner every night and coordinate showers, laundry, clothes, phone calls, work boots, blankets, and have two transitional houses.” Something like this tends to be my usual response. Yet, this answer seems to lack our true ministry. The most difficult, rewarding, and important task the staff performs also is the simplest. We listen. Every day, often when we are tired, impatient, and busy, we are called to sit down, focus, slow our pace, and just listen.
André House provides a wide range of services to our brothers and sisters in need.
Our services focus on meeting the immediate, basic needs of those who come through our doors each day.