Guests at the emergency shelter La Posada Providencia in San Benito, Texas have endured untold hardships. La Posada was built as an emergency shelter for men, women and families fleeing from political oppression, natural disasters, and poverty and are seeking asylum in the United States. And all of them have been blessed by Sister Zita Telkamp’s guidance and mercy. “Welcoming the stranger is a Gospel value that is practiced daily at this haven for those without a home,” said Rev. Daniel E. Flores, Bishop of Brownsville. “I am most grateful to the Congregation of Divine Providence and Sister Zita for their commitment to the poor.”
Sister Zita began her tenure as interim director of La Posada in 2008 and was brought on as permanent director the following year. Under her direction, the shelter, which operates 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, has dramatically expanded its capacity to serve clients. Sister Zita has been instrumental in bringing both stability and growth to the program. She has overseen the building and expansion of the grounds along with the expansion of an ecologically friendly (and financially sound) garden and citrus grove. She has hired four new staff members and instituted a new internship program through a partnership with the University of Texas—Pan American’s School of Social work, which allows La Posada to host five Master of Social Work interns.
The Family Reunification Fund is a response to the human tragedy unfolding on our southern border, where recent family separations and policy debates have exposed the profound misery of those fleeing their countries and coming to the U.S.
The fund will support ministries like La Posada Providencia that provide direct outreach and advocacy for immigrant families separated as a consequence of our broken immigration system. The fund will mainly benefit existing ministries on the southern U.S. border with Mexico, specifically those that are actively sheltering, defending, and caring for immigrants and their families.