I wanted to share something I read today. This comes from the quarterly newsletter of the St Francis Catholic Worker House in Chicago, but it accurately describes the LACW House (at which I live and work), too.
St Francis House is a house of hospitality in the tradition of the Catholic Worker Movement. The movement was begun in 1933 by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin. It is based on communal living with people struggling with poverty and homelessness, and nonviolent resistance to war, injustice and materialism. There are 150-200 Catholic Worker Houses in the US and other countries, but there are no organizational ties to the Roman Catholic hierarchy and Catholic Worker houses are not dependent on it for support. Each CW house is run solely by the people who work there, most of whom live in community at the house itself. In most cases community members need not be Catholic.
St Francis house practices the work of hospitality by taking in single adults who need a place to stay. Decisions are made by a group of people called workers who share the responsibilities of managing the house and are committed to the CW movement's ideals. They have no titles, they need not have professional credentials and they are NOT paid. St Francis house is supported entirely by personal donations and earnings; it receives no government, Church or corporate funding. We are not recognized by the government as a non-profit organization, thus donations to the house are not tax-deductible. We reject the government control that comes with the non-profit status and we feel that federal taxes are best not paid at all because of the violent use to which much tax money is put.