Our History

Deep history, rooted in peace and justice.

The story of the St. Joseph the Worker House began in the early 1970s when Fr. Robert Reynolds, the pastor of St. Joseph the Worker Church, opened a Catholic Worker House in the parish rectory. Eventually the program moved to the house at 901 20th Street, and was operated by well-respected social justice advocates Chuck and Kim Trapuks. They welcomed anyone who came to the door.

In the late 1980s, the mission of the house became focused on homeless women and children. The church provided generous funding for the operation of the house. However, the church closed in 2005.

The house closed as well, but reopened in 2006 under new leadership. In 2007, St. Joseph the Worker House Association became a nonprofit organization.

The house on 20th Street was named the Martha House, based on the biblical woman, Martha, who showed hospitality to Jesus.

In 2011, the organization opened a second house on 11th Street. This duplex offers transitional housing to eligible women and children for up to a year.

Today, our mission is supported by individual donations, local church and community efforts, as well as grants and fundraising. While St. Joseph the Worker House is nondenominational and nonprofit, the faith-filled tenants of hospitality remain.