Since Good Counsel opened in 1985 for homeless, pregnant mothers in need, over 7,800 women have found their way to us. Each mother has a story. Most are sad, some heartwrenching, but every so often the divine providence that brings a mother to us is revealed in a way that reminds all of us why we do what we do and that there is always… always, hope.
At the 2019 From the Heart Ball, a mother from one of our homes held the attention of every person in a swanky NYC ballroom as she stood at the podium and told her story. Before she found Good Counsel, Katrina told the audience she was “hopeless enough to think that no life for my baby would be better than a life with me.”
Katrina made several attempts to have an abortion but, she said, “something always came up.” Either she forgot the necessary information, or the clinic wasn’t able to see her. The last time she visited the clinic, they told her she was too far along for an injection-only abortion and would require the surgical option, which that particular clinic did not offer. So Katrina was turned away. As she walked away from the clinic, a woman handed her some brochures and told her about pregnancy shelters and other resources for homeless, pregnant mothers, which was news to Katrina who had no idea that there was help available.
Even though she was abortion-minded, Katrina searched online for a shelter just in case she couldn’t go through with an abortion. Most of the shelters she contacted had specific criteria that she did not meet. Katrina had been down this road before, pregnant and alone, feeling ashamed and helpless. Then she contacted Good Counsel via email and also called the 24/7 Helpline. She said in that email,
“I’m 10 weeks pregnant with the intentions of abortion. I have a three-year-old son, yet I live at home in my mom’s unkempt house (with mold on the walls) on her couch. I don’t want to struggle forever. If there are any housing programs that you can assist with, I’m willing to listen.”
Answering that email was Dawn Brown, Online Intake Coordinator. Speaking with Katrina on the phone, Dawn put her in touch with Sabrina, Director of Intake, who spoke to her for a few minutes and immediately set up a time to come in and talk with her in person. Dawn and Sabrina assured Katrina that there are only two requirements to become a Good Counsel resident, she had to be homeless and pregnant, and Katrina was both. In just a couple of days, Katrina had her own room at Good Counsel, with her 3-year-old son. Katrina knew she had walked away from the abortion clinic for the last time and felt a flicker of a hope for the first time in a long time.
Over the next few months, Katrina took advantage of everything that was offered to her, support, encouragement, life skills classes, and the advice and wisdom of the staff, volunteers, and her fellow mothers. Katrina thrived with a structured environment. But more than all of that, Katrina said at the Ball, “the most important thing Good Counsel gave me was hope and the belief that I can do this.”
Our Lord guided Katrina to Good Counsel where she found love, hope, and life in her beautiful baby girl, Jada, who was born on January 3, 2019. Katrina, her son, and her baby girl are still residents of Good Counsel and will remain with us up to a year or more until she is ready for that next best step toward a stable and independent life.
Countless woman are out there, homeless, pregnant, and running out of hope quickly. With your help, as we’ve done for the past 34 years, Good Counsel will be here with the door wide open, saying, “Please, come in. You’re home now.”
Please click here for more information on how you can make a difference for a mother in need.