Posada Guadalupe is a shelter for immigrants whose mission is inspired by Matthew 25: “I was a stranger, and you welcomed me.” The ministry’s story began in the 1980s when a courageous woman opened her home, providing food and shelter, to Central Americans who were coming to the United States searching for refuge from the civil wars in their respective countries. Most of them were young men who immigrated to the United States as children and have aged out of state-run care, with nowhere else to go.
In October of 2006, Friar Phillip Ley of Order of Friars Minor Conventual, with his vast experiences from missions in Mexico, Honduras, and El Salvador, reignited Posada Guadalupe’s flames. He assumed the ministry’s directorship, found a new house to rent, and again opened its doors to others in need. The essential thing Posada Guadalupe offers is Franciscan hospitality. First, we make sure our residents have somewhere to sleep, that they are fed. We keep them from being homeless and on the right path by providing food, shelter, and social services. Beyond that, we help them enroll in high school, get their GED, and find work. While all these are necessities, most important, what we offer is human dignity. Most of these kids come from not only extreme poverty but extreme violence. Many come from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, where gangs run vast sections of the country. Friar Phil, having lived in Central America for seven years, has seen the violence first-hand. He has seen people murdered, had friends murdered, and himself been taken hostage while living there.
Posada Guadalupe has an impact by offering hope to their people, people in poverty, people with heartache. While we can’t always change their situation, we can accompany them. We can see them and acknowledge that they belong.
Our hope is they eventually get legal status. They used to get a green card within six months, and it now takes over three years. We offer them a place to get settled, and stays can range from several months to multiple years. Our hope is they will get established here, support themselves, and support their families. Posada Guadalupe has served several hundred residents over the past 14 years. If you are interested in supporting this ministry, please donate through the mail or on our website www.franciscansusa.org and let us know that it is intended for Posada Guadalupe.