Thirty-five years after its founding in 1985, the four Good Counsel maternity homes in New York and New Jersey continue to take in homeless pregnant or parenting young women, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Good Counsel’s slogan is “homes + hope for babies + mothers,” and the organization has to date served over 7,800 women and their children.
Chris Bell, current president of Good Counsel Homes, spoke to Live Action News over the phone about the good work that Good Counsel is continuing to do, even in the country’s ground-zero area for COVID-19 cases. Good Counsel is unique, said Bell, because “We take everybody — immigrants, women with mental health issues or addiction, and women with other children.” One pregnant resident even brought her four other children with her to live at the home.
Bell added that Good Counsel homes are among the “many maternity homes around the country that are still taking in women” during the coronavirus pandemic, albeit with special precautions, especially for the residents who are “essential workers” such as nursing aides, deli workers, and so on. Besides housing and meals, Bell said residents benefit from a program that teaches a wide range of Life Skills, including budgeting help, resumé and job interview assistance, parenting education on everything from proper prenatal care to bathing newborns to identifying developmental milestones, nutrition education on healthy eating for moms and children as well as meal preparation and shopping economically, spiritual support and chastity education, health and HIV/AIDS education, and post-abortion healing.
Bell noted that because of the pandemic, Good Counsel has had to cancel two major fundraising events in the last two months. Given that lost income and decreased food supplies due to “many more people being home, eating larger meals, baking more for movie nights and game nights,” Good Counsel is gratefully accepting donations to continue its life-saving work for pregnant and parenting mothers and their children.
Good Counsel’s 24-hour help hotline is 1-800-723-8331.
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