Immigrants And Refugees

Good Counsel: There, “No Matter What,” Even During COVID

Photo by Good Counsel

When a homeless, expectant, or new mother and her children are in need of supportive residential care and community-based services, Good Counsel is there. Pregnant and expectant mothers, with or without other children, including mothers with mental health or addiction challenges, from any location, are able to receive help in a Good Counsel home. Good Counsel fosters a nurturing, safe family environment, encouraging self-respect and independence for pregnant mothers and their children in a diverse community of all faiths and beliefs.

With the arrival of the Coronavirus and the disruption it has brought, Sandra Jones, the CEO of Good Counsel assures us, “We will not shut out women in need during this most critical time.” And the time is critical. Stress and anxiety, joblessness and sudden poverty are major hurdles families are facing. That environment creates tension, and tension often leads to more serious problems. “Domestic violence will escalate the longer this goes on,” added Jones, “but Good Counsel will respond with immediate help for women who need us.”

If you are in need of the services provided by Good Counsel, please call their National Helpline: 1-800-723-8331. They operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  

Good Counsel operates four homes, three in and around New York City and one outside Camden, New Jersey. Good Counsel has helped to open 11 similar homes in nine states, and continues to offer guidance and other assistance for people interested in opening maternity homes based on the Good Counsel model.

“No matter what, Good Counsel will assist any woman who’s pregnant and in need,” says Christopher Bell, co-founder and president of the charity. “Our first home opened 35 years ago because there was no place for a homeless mother and child to find a bridge from the streets or couch hopping, to a stable, more secure life.”

When asked if the Coronavirus has changed how Good Counsel operates, Sandra Jones was very clear, “Our doors are very much open. Any pregnant woman calling our 24/7 helpline —  1.800.723.8331 — or going to our website and then emailing will be helped as always. If she’s in a dangerous or desperate situation we’ll take her in right away. We do have a ‘quarantine room’ in each home for a new mom. We fear though that women are staying away and not even calling or emailing because they hear ‘shelter in place’ and simply don’t know they have options, life-saving, life-supporting options for them and their unborn babies.”

Good Counsel is an agency of Catholic Charities of New York. That means that, on their own or with help if needed, the essential services Good Counsel provides will go on.