Human Interest

Convent turned into maternity home giving help to pregnant mothers

pregnant mothers

A new maternity home for pregnant mothers experiencing homelessness has opened in Los Angeles.

Harvest Home, formerly the St. Mary Magdalen Convent for Sisters of the Holy Faith, is a residential program able to serve up to 30 women at a time, with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles working to make it possible. Their program offers multiple levels of care, with their newest residence, the Pico Home, receiving an official blessing from Archbishop José H. Gomez last month.

“It’s a gift beyond what we could have ever imagined,” executive director Sarah Wilson told Angelus. “Harvest Home stands in the gap to provide vital housing and critical service to these pregnant women who are in crisis and have few options for housing and support. We are honored to open the Pico Home to triple our reach.”

The first step in the Harvest Home program is at the Venice Home, where women will stay for one to two months. There, they receive case management and therapy, as well as an assessment to determine what their short- and long-term needs are. The second step is the newly-opened Pico Home, where women can stay for up to six months after giving birth. This transitional program is focused on continuing education and therapy, and providing long-term stability. Finally, in the third step, women move to the Alumnae Program, where they receive continuing support and resources while living on their own.

The home also includes two larger rooms for pregnant mothers with older children, some of who are already in school.

READ: Pregnancy centers vs. abortion businesses: Who truly offers ‘limited services’?

Harvest Home’s goals include helping these women attain financial independence, as well as emotional, physical, and spiritual help, so they can ably care for their children. Michael Donaldson, who works with the archdiocese, said they want to ensure their residents are successful in transitioning from homelessness to independence. “It’s a regaining of their human dignity, and their purpose in society … that they have a place in this world,” he said. For Gomez, the home is a “beautiful work of compassion and care for our most vulnerable neighbors,” and the archdiocese, along with Harvest Home staff, is already hoping to serve even more women.

“Nearly 5,000 pregnant women experience homelessness each year,” Wilson said. “Pregnant mothers are equipped and empowered with the tools they need to transition out of homelessness and create a flourishing future for their families that impacts generations to come.”

As Gomez blessed the home, he urged people to pray for the women it will serve, and for life to be protected.

“It is with great joy that we witness the opening of Harvest Home’s second residence for homeless pregnant women and their children,” Gomez said. “Let us continue to pray for these women and their children and let us continue to commit ourselves to building a Los Angeles where every life is cherished and protected.”

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