Nestled in the heart of Leavenworth, there is a house at 305 Pottawatomie that’s undergoing a remarkable transformation. This house is set to become a sanctuary for three homeless men in need of a fresh start. The driving force behind this project is Depaul USA, locally led by Sister Vickie Perkins.

Today, several SCLs, our new director of SCL Associates, and other volunteers spent the day living the mission of the Sisters by preparing this home for its new occupants by painting the interior. Sister Vickie shared that they were hoping to finish the project by November 15th, but due to a delay in carpet delivery, they may need to rethink their schedule. Nevertheless, the primary objective remains unchanged – to create a safe and nurturing environment as soon as possible.

Sister Amy Willcott
Sister Charlotte White
Sister Nancy Bauman painting
Sister Vickie Perkins stands in the entry to 305 Pottawatomie
Sister Vickie Lichtenhaur painting room

As for the three future tenants, they are currently residing in a local shelter, a temporary respite from the challenges of homelessness. One gentleman is on the cusp of securing a job, a necessary step towards stability and self-sufficiency, and a requirement of renting from Depaul USA. The second candidate is still in the interview phase, and there are several options under consideration for the third individual. The house features three bedrooms to accommodate these residents, along with a common area that will include a laundry room, dining area, and a fully equipped kitchen, which will be installed at the end of the painting phase.

The story of how they acquired the house is one of serendipity and a commitment to making a positive change. Sister Vickie explained that Depaul USA works with a local realtor who also manages their Leavenworth properties and identified the opportunity. A man with two houses, which he had begun to work on, was willing to sell them together to Depaul USA for a remarkably low price. After touring the homes and talking with the seller, Sister Vickie decided to purchase both and embarked on the journey to rehab the property.

The rehab work included installing new drywall and other necessary improvements. A dedicated contractor had been working on the property for approximately three weeks before volunteers could get in today to begin painting. This project represents Depaul USA’s first venture into congregate living, where individuals share communal spaces while receiving the support they need to transition to a more stable life.

Looking around the common area of the house, Sister Vickie reflected on the Depaul USA journey, saying, “God just keeps taking care of things. We started out with one house in May 2022 and now have 11 and are working on building the duplexes.” The work at 305 Pottawatomie demonstrates the strength of community and faith in action, aiming to provide a place where individuals can gradually rebuild their lives. This house embodies the mission of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, offering a sense of hope, love, and transformation.