Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Open Door Community: An organization worth knowing

The Open Door Community is a residential community in the Catholic Worker tradition (they’re sometimes called a Protestant Catholic Worker House!). They seek to dismantle racism, sexism and (more); abolish the death penalty; and create the Beloved Community on Earth through a loving relationship with some of the most neglected and outcast of God’s children: the homeless and our sisters and brothers who are in prison.

They serve breakfasts and soup-kitchen lunches, provide showers and changes of clothes, staff a free medical clinic, conduct worship services and meetings for the clarification of thought, and provide a prison ministry, including monthly trips for families to visit loved ones at the Hardwick Prisons in central Georgia. They also advocate on behalf of the oppressed, homeless and prisoners through nonviolent protests, grassroots organization and the publication of our monthly newspaper, Hospitality.

Recent visitors:

Charlie Young, Jr. (above), here with Eduard Loring, was once a prisoner on Georgia’s death row. During that time, in the early 1980s, Charlie Young, Sr. came to live at the Open Door Community. Father and son, long estranged, were reunited. Charlie was freed on parole in 2003 and stops by 910 for a visit whenever he comes to Atlanta.

Capital X (left) spent two nights with them while on his 1,700-mile “Walk 4 Life.” The purpose of his walk is to raise public awareness about the death penalty and to bring more people into the movement to end it. He is walking from Trenton, New Jersey – a state which recently abolished the death penalty – to Texas, the state which executes the most prisoners in the U.S.A.

Click to learn more about the Open Door Community!

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