Two years ago this week, I moved to Chicago to begin working at LPCS as my placement through a national volunteer program called Lutheran Volunteer Corps (LVC). Prior to moving to Chicago, I had been living in Minneapolis, working for a company that treated me well, yet something was missing. I did not feel as though my talents were being utilized and I knew there was something more for me. As I applied and interviewed for LVC, I desired to fulfill a vocational calling: working toward social justice. Such a broad idea, yet I felt drawn to LVC’s core practices of social justice, living simply and sustainably, and exploring spirituality while living in an intentional community. I hoped joining this organization would lead me toward the path of fulfillment I was seeking. I wanted a job I loved, where I felt valued, continuously learning, and using my skills. I found all of this at LPCS.
I had no clue how much I would love working for LPCS when I began, and but it was soon clear to me that this place was truly special. After completing a year as a volunteer with LVC, I signed on for another volunteer year because I truly value the missions of both the Lutheran Volunteer Corps and the Lincoln Park Community Shelter. LPCS strives to fulfill its mission to bring the community together to empower homeless men and women, and I feel proud to be part of this community.
As I rounded out my second year here as a member of Lutheran Volunteer Corps, I knew that I needed to find a full time paying job, wanted to stay in Chicago, and, most importantly, I wanted to continue working as a Case Manager at LPCS. My friends and family can tell how elated I was (and still am!) to be hired as a full time staff member at LPCS.
As a Case Manager at LPCS, I love the opportunity to walk alongside others on their journey to more fulfilling and stable lives. I provide concrete support as well as emotional support. I am now working at an organization that continually strives to improve its services and find out what works; this drives my passion to provide the best services possible and improve myself as I go. People sometimes ask me why I do what I do, as though this work were completely selfless, but the truth is, I gain a lot working here; I have the chance to learn from others’ lives, am blessed to hear other people’s stories, and share joy within this community. Seeing the Guests, Graduates, and Community Clients work toward finding a fulfilling and sustainable life renews my own zeal to live a meaningful life.
By: Brianne Spresser