Did you know that there are thousands of pregnant women who are homeless?
Chris Bell knows this, and he collaborated with Fr Benedict Groeschel to form Good Counsel Homes in New York City. We here in the Quiet Corner of CT are not immune to the crisis of homeless pregnant women.
In fact, as I was in the library preparing for the March for Life, I ran into a 20 year old pregnant woman who had just been kicked out of her parents' home in the midst of a snowstorm. I helped her find a homeless shelter, but if you've ever visited one, you know this is no place for a pregnant mother. My heart ached as I left her there, and I told her that she and others like her are the reason we are forming a home for pregnant mothers.
We at Ave Maria Home of Norwich, CT have formed a board of directors of which I am a member, and affiliated ourselves with Chris Bell's Good Counsel Homes, because we know they do things right, putting the Eucharistic Lord Jesus in the Tabernacle in every home. Their residents feel loved, as you can see in their video, and go on to lead healthy, fulfilled lives with their children. This is our goal; to reproduce the blessings of a maternity home here in Eastern Connecticut, an already depressed area, hit hard by the economic crisis.
For a year we have been spreading the word that we needed a house which 10-12 homeless pregnant women could call home. A place where they would be nurtured, body, mind and soul. A place to heal from the brokeness which left them pregnant and homeless, and prepare for the great adventure of motherhood. A place to make up for what was missing in their lives, whether is is a HS diploma, a job skill, mothering or homemaking skills, or a spiritual life. Most of all, a home where their hearts can be restored by love. Love from staff and from their housemates. We want them to feel Our Blessed Mother's embrace at Ave Maria, and let her teach them how to mother their children through us.
We found a lovely antique Victorian home, restored with love, and nestled among towering white pine trees in a quiet country village. Today we visited the home, took a careful tour, and voted unanimously, "this home is the answer to our prayers". Now we need two things, and for these I ask your prayers and sacrifices this Lent. We need our bishop's approval, and we need the money to do some minor repairs and fund the first years salary of our staff (about $200,000). This may sound like a lot, but it is the law in CT that the home meets the fire codes and that we have the first year's pay for our staff in the bank before we are open.
I can't tell you more about the home until we are officially the leasees, however, if you imagine a traditional Victorian home, warm with charm and a family atmosphere, with overstuffed comfy couches, and a sunny front porch perfect for rocking newborn babies on summer evenings, then I assure you, this home is all that . . . and more. And it's being offered to us for a $1 a year lease.
Please let me know in the comments if you will promise to pray for this home to be approved by the diocese, and if you are moved to share your Lenten alms with Ave Maria Home, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to make a tax-deductable donation. We will send you a receipt for your taxes.
If you belong to an organization like the Knights of Columbus, or another grant-giving organization, please help us apply for grants. It's a LONG way to our goal, but somewhere, there are homeless women considering abortion right now in Eastern CT. Help Ave Maria offer them a Mother's love instead.