Good Counsel Homes opened its doors in New York City in 1985. The late Father Benedict Groeschel and Christopher Bell were administering to the homeless of the city when from time to time they encountered a pregnant woman. There was no place that cared for her needs. The need to provide prenatal care and delivery, a plan to care for her child once she gave birth, the means to figure out how to continue to feed, shelter, and love this child within her.
Good Counsel Homes is a program, not a shelter. Generally mothers who come to one of the seven Good Counsel Homes stay for up to one year after the child is born. During their stay at Good Counsel, mothers meet with caseworkers who help develop a plan that will lead to self sufficiency. Life skills classes are provided that offer basic training in all aspects of nurturing and caring for a family.
Educational and employment opportunities are explored and executed, day care for toddlers and newborns is available. These are all a part of the program that have surrounded the birth of 1,065 births since 1985. In 2017 alone Good Counsel’s seven homes have sheltered 130 mothers, cared for 145 children, witnessed the birth of 68 babies, changed 27,258 diapers, served 1,235 meals and provided 777 hours of childcare
At the South Jersey home, 73 babies have been born since opening in 2011. The nine bedrooms at the former convent of Saint Casmir’s in Riverside, N.J., have been full to capacity since its opening — and at times a 10th and 11th mother have slept on a cot in the chapel or training center — because no one is turned away.
Good Counsel is a non-profit organization supported by individuals and business owners who believe in the mission to feed the hungry and shelter the homeless, and that every child deserves to start life surrounded by hope and love. To supplement the support of donors, and to keep the welcome sign on the door, Good Counsel holds fundraisers throughout the year.
On Feb. 24, a “craft beer, beef and baskets” fundraiser will be held at Infant Jesus Parish (Saint Margaret School) 773 Third Street, Woodbury Heights, 6-10 p.m.
For tickets contact Rob Dietrich at 856-649-9519 or email email@example.com; or JoAnn DiNoia at 609-387-2928 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All you can eat buffet, food provided by Botto’s Italian Line Restaurant, music by John Childress, gift baskets. Tickets $30 in advance; $35 at the door