Dirty Vagabond Ministries, based in Steubenville, Ohio, is a Catholic apostolate to inner-city young people whose communities typically lack the resources to pay for religious youth workers and programs. The ministry seeks to mentor urban teens through Catholic incarnational theology: Its workers immerse themselves in the slang, fashion, and music of inner-city culture and give themselves to the pain, hopelessness, and anger of urban teens in order to bring Christ, and "be" Christ, with people.
Struck by the absence of visible urban youth ministries in service to Catholic youth, veteran youth ministers Bob and Kate Lesnefsky founded Dirty Vagabond in hope of bridging that gap. As a Christian hip-hop artist and speaker, Bob travels the country reaching out to contemporary teens through rap music and hip-hop culture, while Kate puts degrees in theology and catechetics to use mentoring teenage girls.
The ministry’s main approach is a one-on-one method in which relationships are developed on a personal level so that every individual who visits a Dirty Vagabond Ministries community center is personally heard, loved, and ministered. Dirty Vagabond does not organize large-scale youth events or even seek to draw large numbers of young people. Instead, their hope is to develop new leaders that will remain in the community to mentor others.
Rather than overlook the configuration of urban life, Bob and Kate lead Dirty Vagabond Ministries in addressing the unique challenges of inner-city communities, where the widespread single-parent family structure can lead to a lack of structure, motivation, and attention among the kids who live there.
Their ministry seeks to be a healthy classroom and youth group to a generation of teens who have grown up in a hostile time and environment. Dirty Vagabond Ministries provides resources and catechetical models to develop the faith, character, life skills, and knowledge that lead urban teens to the sacramental life of the church and pastoral leadership within their communities.
Dirty Vagabond Ministries’ How Much Can Be Done in a Year?: