Joppa is a volunteer-driven, interdenominational, nonprofit organization in Iowa that helps homeless people survive, get housing and rebuild their lives. They have been serving the homeless since 2008. Their mission is to create a community of unconditional love, support, and hope for the homeless, as we all work together to end homelessness.

Each week Joppa volunteers visit 100-200 people living under bridges, in tents, shacks, vehicles, and those recently transitioned into housing.

Joppa supports community services by meeting unmet needs, such as homeless nutrition, street nursing, job training, transportation, and survival programs like winter heat and boots.

St. Boniface is excited to begin partnering with Joppa!  We met with their leadership to discuss ways we as a parish can best assist them.

We were particularly interested in:

  • learning more about the areas they have the most need
  • areas where our parish can assume responsibility for a specific task or project, organize it, and see it to completion
  • areas where we can build relationships and ‘walk’ with people for an extended period of time, not just a one-time connection
  • ways we can help with an immediate need that JOPPA needs to respond to (for example, urgent need for tents, water, socks, etc.)
  • meal preparation opportunities
  • ‘behind-the-scenes’ opportunities
  • ‘direct service’ opportunities (interaction with the homeless)

We are now in the process of identifying 2 – 3 evenings in May where we can take about 20 people at a time for a tour of the JOPPA Center and a homeless camp for Camp Experience tours.

  • At the JOPPA Center we will take a tour of their facility, see how they store supplies that are donated and how items and food are organized to be loaded and sent out with the Sunday delivery of a hot meal to 120 homeless.
  • From there we will follow the JOPPA folks to a homeless camp.  JOPPA will arrange for us to visit with a camper, usually around a campfire, where we will be able to share conversation with them, learn from one another, and come away with a richer understanding of their daily, and perhaps lifelong, struggles for survival.
  • The Camp Experience tour is a great immersion experience and will give us a better understanding of how the many parts of the JOPPA ministry connect with each other and how all forms of service are important to the overall ministry.

Check this page for future updates as this ministry takes off!

If you are interested in learning more and/or receiving email updates, contact Deb Purcell at dpurcell@stbonifacechurch.org or 515-987-4597.

To learn more about Joppa, visit their website at www.joppa.org