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In Memory of Katie Nolan: A Dedication to Those in Need

Posted by | Jennifer Lucena, Homeless Services Manager
On July 6, 2020, our Housing Transitions Program wished the late Katie Nolan, former Catholic Charities staff member and symbol of our mission to serve those in need, a very happy birthday. With face coverings and social distancing the HTP team shared 50 sack meals (including a commemorative photo and story of Katie) with people experiencing homelessness in the St. Francis park area.
Katie, who passed away in 2009, committed her life to social justice and the welfare of others. Every year on her birthday, HTP staff conducts a special street outreach event in Katie’s honor. 

I didn’t know who Katie Nolan was when I joined Housing Transitions Program (HTP) in 2015. I saw her photo and memorial in the drop-in center and heard stories about her work, her dedication, her kind spirit and how much all who knew her loved her. I learned that every year for her birthday, HTP staff conducted a special street outreach in Katie’s honor.

For my first outreach in honor of Katie, the street outreach team met at the drop-in center at 7:30 in the morning to assemble sack meals with a note inside. The note had a picture of Katie on it and a message about who she was with hope for an act of kindness in her memory. As we handed out each package, I remember feeling like Katie was now a part of my story.

Katie Nolan Birthday Breakfast Outreach Note 7.6.80
Katie Nolan Photo

HTP is a relationship-centered program, which means we build relationships with the people we work with, but it also means that the relationship the team has with one another is also very important to the work we do. We’re a family unit, and Katie will forever be a member of the HTP family. During my time at HTP we’ve had staff, students, interns, and many other community members get to know who Katie was, and she is now a part of each of their stories. I think there is something truly special about the way the memory of her life and commitment to social justice continues to be shared with all who visit HTP.

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