History and Background
On late January, 2000, Monsignor Patrick Higgins collaborated with the Board of Catholic Charities after contemplating the idea that the Maurin Day House could become a part of Catholic Charities, Sister Patrick Bruen, and Monsignor Patrick Higgins decided to bring their proposed idea to Bishop Carmody.
In a letter dated June 11, 2001, addressed to Catholic Charities, Inc. Board of Directors, Sister Patrick Bruen, Executive Director, and Monsignor Patrick Higgins, Pastor at Holy Cross Parish; the Most Rev. Edmond Carmody, D.D. Bishop of the Diocese of Corpus Christi gave a brief description of the work Monsignor Higgins, and Ms. Amy Mendez, Executive Director of The Maurin Day House have been doing for many years, their accomplishments, and expressed his gratitude for their hard work.
Bishop Carmody stated in his letter that “...the Maurin Day House, located on Leopard Street, offered an opportunity for the homeless in the area to be provided with basic human necessities.” Bishop added that the shelter provided restrooms, storage for possessions, showers, and laundry facilities free of charge. In this letter he wrote, “This is a very humanizing part of their lives. It is an important mission of our Diocese,” and proceeded with the following:
“I believe that the Maurin Day House complements the works that we accomplish through Catholic Charities. It is my understanding that both, Sister Patrick Bruen and Monsignor Higgins are in favor of having the Maurin Day House become part of Catholic Charities. I believe that as an act of Catholic charity, it also is more appropriately run through this organization, Catholic Charities. I would ask that you consider making the Maurin Day House a part of Catholic Charities for the purposes of giving the Maurin Day House stability, opportunity for growth, a means for stable funding and for continued care for those most in need in our community.”
In closing, Bishop added the following: Mother Teresa once said that the poor give much more than they receive. She said, “In Calcutta, some time ago, we went out at night and picked up four or five people from the street and took them to our home for the dying. One of them was in a very bad condition and I wanted to take care of her myself. I did for her all that my love could do. When I put her into bed, she took hold of my hand and there was such a wonderful smile on the face. She said one word; “thank you,” and she died. She gave me much more than I had given her. She gave me her grateful heart and I thought: what would I have done in her place? My answer was: I would have tried to draw some attention to myself. I would have said: I am hungry, or I am cold, or I am dying. But she, she was so great; she was so beautiful in her giving. The poor are great people.”
Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to continue to serve the poor and homeless. Thank you all for what you do for the Church and the community.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Edmond Carmody, D.D.
Bishop of Corpus Christi
At 12:00 noon on Thursday, June 14, 2001 the Board of Directors of Catholic Charities listened to the presentation given by Monsignor Higgins and Ms. Amy Mendez, and read the Bishop’s letter. In an Executive Board meeting the Board of Directors agreed to assume the responsibilities of the Maurin Day House. At the request of Bishop Carmody, the Board of Directors agreed to incorporate the day shelter under the name of “Mother Teresa Shelter” on August 4, 2001.
With a grant from the Kenedy Memorial Foundation, the Diocese of Corpus Christi purchased the building located at 513 Sam Rankin Avenue. Later in January 2002, Catholic Charities applied to the City of Corpus Christi, for a grant under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG); this grant was going to be for the rehabilitation/construction of the facility.
On September 23, 2003 Mother Teresa Shelter, Inc. opened its doors to homeless men and women, and to the community as a non-profit, faith based organization to provide shelter and supportive services to homeless persons during the day. The services provided are designed to help the community meet the needs and demands of the homeless population. The facility provides breakfast, morning, and afternoon snacks, and it gives access to showers, laundry facilities, use of the telephone, storage areas for personal belongings, a place where they can receive mail from family and friends, and get access to employment opportunities. In addition, our clients have the ability to access other community organizations providers of services to the homeless.
Since 2006, Mother Teresa Shelter, Inc. has become an integral part in the formation of Seminarians entering the priesthood at the Diocese of Corpus Christi. In addition, Mother Teresa Shelter continues to be an inspiration to all, and an inviting place were local Parishes, Youth groups, community members, and local private and public agencies have found a place that welcomed all, and encourage participation, but most importantly, a place where our homeless men and women can call home during the day.
Since our inception, we have labored to find a new approach to outreach, case management, supportive services, and emergency day shelter. We have invested much time and resources finding activities and mediums to which a homeless person can grow, and get motivated to reach their full potential. Our objective is to promote self-esteem, help develop socialization skills, and self-sufficiency which are often lost when living in the streets.
In early 2008, the vision of expanding our services in order to deepen our impact on the lives of those we serve; our Executive Director and the Board of Directors decided that Mother Teresa Shelter should build on the strength of its programs and built a facility that will allow us to develop a therapeutic program were our homeless clients can express themselves through art, table games, exercise, and team sports but most importantly it will help us provide consistency, expand our case management, and coordinate extended opportunities for client growth through workshops, support groups, and motivational speakers, and in the process develop tools for coping with life’s stressors such as personal growth and self-esteem. On October 19, 2010, the Most Reverend Wm. Michael Mulvey, Bishop of the Diocese of Corpus Christ blessed and opened Mother Teresa Shelter Multi-purpose Activity and Therapeutic Center.
In 2011 Mother Teresa Shelter hosted several community events, raising awareness about homelessness. On January 25, 2011, we hosted the “Point in Time Homeless Count and Survey,” in partnership with the Homeless Issues Partnership. Later, we hosted the “Brake the Cycle of Poverty” campaign organized by Catholic Charities of Corpus Christi. The bike tour began in the city of Austin, Texas on April 28, 2011 and concluded in the city of Corpus Christi, Texas on May 2, 2011.
On March 23, 2012 with a special blessing by The Most Rev. Wm. Michael Mulvey, DD. Bishop of the Diocese of Corpus Christi, the Mother Teresa Shelter, Inc. Transitional Housing for Men opened its doors. This home is dedicated to the memory of Daniel D. Meaney. The facility provides an array of services, and 24 private bedrooms.
To learn more visit our Programs and Services section