Amy Eurek packed her bags in her hometown of St. Paul, Minn., and headed to work for Samaritan House shelter in Denver. She felt inspired by Catholic Charities’ mission to serve the whole person and its active pursuit of its Catholic identity. After several years of working for Catholic Charities, Eurek was named the Program Director of Marisol Homes (formerly Father Ed Judy House) and is overseeing its ministry to serve mothers and their children. Below is an interview with Eurek about her work and background.
Charity Works: As program director of Marisol Homes, you oversee and guide staff who assist mothers and children with achieving stability and permanent housing. Tell us more about what you do.
Amy Eurek: Marisol Homes, formerly Father Ed Judy House, has been serving mothers and their children along with expectant mothers since 2005. We have recently expanded to three more locations and are moving our Fort Logan site to Lakewood to provide a stronger continuum of care for the families we serve. The goal of Marisol Homes is to show dignity and love to every single family who enters into one of the homes by supporting and inspiring them to have courage and faith in a time of suffering and trials. This is done through everyday programming and the overall design of the program. We focus on financial health, stable housing, parenting, and community support in our program. We have deacons assigned to Marisol Homes that are available for spiritual guidance and special blessings. Marisol Homes has a community-based aftercare program so that this ministry can continue with the family as their journey continues. We hope to have each family leave stronger, smarter, and, through the Holy Spirit, closer to Christ because they participated in Marisol Homes.
CW: What makes Marisol Homes unique from other charitable organizations’ housing for women experiencing homelessness?
Eurek: Marisol Homes is unique in that we are a Christ-centered ministry that works to remove some of the stressors and pressures of homelessness on a family, for example time-limited stays, highly structured programming, and the feeling of being "just another client." We offer an indefinite stay that is based on the progress and efforts a family makes and build holistic professional relationships with each person. The program looks at each family separately and addresses their situations and struggles in a just and merciful way. Goals are person centered and tailored to each family. God created us all uniquely—with different talents, gifts, and struggles—and we should treat all persons with that understanding.
CW: Marisol Homes is growing and a new location in Lakewood is currently under construction. What are you looking forward to with this new home?
Eurek: I am looking forward to many things at our new location! We will have for the first time a chapel at Marisol Homes. This chapel is a great blessing for the families, staff, and volunteers. This will be a place of reverence and prayer where any person can reflect and be in peaceful meditation and prayer. The families we serve will now have accessible public transportation—the light rail—that will run frequently and cut down on their commute time during the day. There will be an educational and employment room that will have dedicated computers, phones, and a classroom setting to learn skills, complete higher education assignments, take parenting classes, and participate in faith-based groups. This room will be filled with empowering learning opportunities that will focus on building the confidence of each woman and in turn her child(ren). We will also have a school literally in our backyard that our families can choose to attend—what an amazing opportunity for the children and families!
CW: What led you to your position at Catholic Charities? Tell us about your background.
Eurek: I am originally from St. Paul, Minn. and came to Denver to visit Catholic Charities as a part of an educational Catholic Leadership program. While I was here studying the Catholic Charities business model, I was inspired and felt called to move to Denver and join them in their mission. I was inspired for one reason. This agency was actively pursuing to engage their Catholic identity and have that influence the service that they provide. This was so they can serve the whole person and offer them an opportunity to come closer to Jesus who can heal and love them more beautifully than any agency or program. I returned home to Minnesota and a short time later with my social work and Catholic Studies degrees in hand, I packed up my car and drove west to Samaritan House. From there the Holy Spirit has moved me around Catholic Charities and helped me deepen my relationship with the Trinity through the people I have been fortunate to meet and serve. Agape is a magnificent love that I am privileged to witness every day at Catholic Charities.
Learn more by visiting ccdenver.org/marisolservices.