Nun as Construction Site Coordinator

When Sister Betty Schuster went to college, she pursued a career in education.  After a decade in Catholic Schools , the school in Long Island where she was teaching closed in the early 1990s.  Betty then decided to spend a year in volunteer service in Youngstown, OH.  Part of her volunteer time was spent in Catholic schools.  But she also began to volunteer at Beatitude House, a program for homeless women and their dependent children.

One year of volunteer service turned into two years; and two years have turned into a lifetime.  She entered the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown in 1994 and made her perpetual profession of vows in 2000.

Not only did Sister Betty move from New York to Ohio, she changed careers, and in a dramatic way.  What had begun as a extra volunteer ministry has turned into a full time job.  Sister Betty currently serves the Assistant Director of Beatitude House.

One of her responsibilities as Assistant Director is to oversee the various sites where the families live.  The site in Warren OH has just completed a $1.5 million renovation.  Our Sister Betty served as the Construction Site Coordinator for the project.

“I never thought of myself as working in construction.  But I have always liked really getting involved in a project” said Sr. Betty.  This “really getting involved” has meant meeting weekly with the construction workers and architect, overseeing the progress of the building, and preparing the space for occupancy for seven new families. Imagine having to figure out the cost to level your house in Hoston and get a building back up before the end of the year!

Sr. Betty Schuster on Stilts Inspecting at the newly-renovated House of Blessing in Warren

These are families that have been homeless.  Now in this House of Blessing, the name given to each of the housing sites operated by Beatitude House,  mothers will get the education and support they need to help themselves move from homelessness to permanent housing, and children will live in a stable environment that will nurture their development.

By the way, the dedication of the new space is this Friday, September 25, 2009 at 2:30 p.m.  You can find it at 1370 Tod Ave, NW in Warren OH.  An Open House will continue until 5:00 p.m.