Alumna's ministry brings touch of warmth to Humboldt Park


For Jessica Pomales (M.T.S., Class of 2010), serving the homeless of her community is like receiving the blessing her grandmother extends her upon their meeting.

“Among Puerto Ricans, when we greet our elders we salute them by asking for a “bendicion,” Pomales said. “They return our asking with ‘Dios te bendiga’, which means God bless you. As I serve the homeless I think often that I am sharing something significant with them, but when they turn to say ‘thanks’ and ‘God bless you’, they share their blessings with me.”

Disconcerted as she repeatedly saw the same homeless people on the streets in below zero weather in her church’s neighborhood of Humboldt Park, Pomales determined to begin serving her neighbors on the street in some tangible way.

“I have always felt a call to minister to hurting people but I did not know what to do to help the homeless in my neighborhood,” Pomales said. “I started praying and asking friends to discover what we could to serve and bless this community.”

Pomales’ pastor Isaias Mercado (D.Min., Class of 2006), at La Casa del Carpintero (The Carpenter’s House), encouraged her to work with the church in her efforts, so it could become the hub and center of the ministry. She organized a team, and they gathered for their first meeting, deciding initially to collect and distribute backpacks filled with first aid kits and winter wear items to provide for immediate physical needs.

On February 12, the new ministry to the homeless will once again distribute backpacks, first aid kits, winter clothing item such as hats and gloves, and winter blankets. They are asking for donations of any of the above items which can be dropped off at La Casa del Carpintero located at 1651 N. Kedzie on Wednesdays, 6-9 p.m. or Fridays from 10 a.m.-3:00 p.m. If you have questions or would like to learn more, contact Jessica Pomales at 773-280-6095.