“If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime” – Chinese Proverb
In 1993, three neighboring Catholic Churches on the City’s lower West Side- St. James, St. Mary, and the Basilica of Saint Adalbert – shared a vision to address the changing realities and needs of its neighbors. As a result Steepletown was founded and incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1994, whose mission is “to promote neighbor helping neighbor live with dignity and hope.” Steepletown accomplishes this mission through creative programs and innovative services, and by engaging in some system-changing community collaboratives.
Much has happened over the past 20 years, both on the lower West Side and within Steepletown. During Steepletown’s first few years there was a part-time Director who was soon joined by a full-time Assistance Coordinator, which was one of Steepletown’s first areas of focus. Now 20 years later there are ten full-time & seven part-time staff, 3 social work interns, 2 workers placed through AARP’s senior employment program, and many volunteers. Most of this growth has happened because of the many partnerships that have been formed over the years which you can read more about under community empowerment. Steepletown can “teach a man to fish”, but these community partnerships and collaboratives are critically important in order to complete the picture, i.e. helping this newly educated fishermen gain access to the lake or river where the fish can be found, equipping them with a boat and fishing gear, teaching them how to clean and cook the fish and how to survive, or at least not go hungry, when the fish aren’t biting. This illustrates the complexity of life and why there is a need to reach across to other organizations and systems to create a more seamless, comprehensive approach that can truly transform live
Welcome to the neighborhood!