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Sheltering in Place with Good Counsel

Samantha Elbertson
Samantha Elbertson
April 15, 2020

The mothers who live in Good Counsel's homes keep a full schedule. They can be found coming and going to work, school and volunteering. Moms attend childcare and safety courses, they learn life skills such as cooking, cleaning, budgeting finances and even gardening. Our moms and staff go on regular outings to museums, zoos and aquariums, and to the park and library with their children. Sheltering in place is a drastic change to their norm.

For many it means a total halt in the upward movement they've been working so hard to achieve. "Social distancing" means postponement of certifications, GED's and the start of new jobs. In our homes, brave women are overcoming great obstacles of abuse, poverty and homelessness everyday. These are delicate times and any small obstacle can pose a real threat to progress. But God is good always and through his mercy we are experiencing great blessings in our current situation.

Mom working at home in the office

If we choose to see it, this temporary lockdown can be a nice change of pace; moms are less busy and focusing solely on quality time with their babies. They are doubling down on their responsibilities within the home, bonding with fellow moms and increasing time spent in prayer. Moms who may have spent their down time in their rooms or keeping to themselves are now socializing more with their housemates.

In the Bronx home, house managers and staff are teaching sewing and leading the moms in craft sessions. Last week they crafted hair bows and headbands for themselves and their babies. In Spring Valley, moms are treating themselves to more cozy cuddles with their children, movie nights and board games. Moms have joined together setting fitness and health goals for this time spent inside. In South Jersey, quarantine will not stop their party. The moms and staff have been getting creative and making the most of this time at home, decorating, baking and celebrating birthdays and milestones.

Getting Crafty with Babies and Bows making in the Bronx
South Jersey celebrated Shoshana's 30th birthday

Having everyone in the same place at one time is an opportunity to increase the effectiveness of life skill classes taught within the homes. The ladies are engaging more and joining together in a refreshed effort to care for their babies and their homes; preparing themselves for life after Good Counsel. House managers in all 4 homes are sensitive to the plight of our moms and the damage any delays in progress can present. They have been unceasing in their efforts to counsel, console and encourage these brave women in their struggle.

We currently have several mothers in our homes whose work is deemed essential. They are following safety protocols at work, employing the proper PPE (personal protective equipment), changing clothes and sanitizing before coming back into the homes.

Through the generosity of donors, our intake staff has been provided the necessary PPE, sanitation supplies and thermometers to safely interview any new moms seeking aid. If a woman is at high risk for abortion or on the streets, Good Counsel is able to take her in immediately. In other cases, our staff continues to interview women remotely and place them in homes, ensuring their safety with regard to the coronavirus.

Donations of thermometers and hand sanitizer in Staten Island

As always we want to thank all who have donated funds and supplies. At this, a global time of need, we are focusing on you, the helpers. From the fire departments gathering supplies, to the volunteers preparing and delivering meals, to the donors who have stepped up their pledges; we are grateful to your commitment to our pro-life mission. We ask of you, please don't stop! You are making a difference and it is your generosity that sustains us now and always.

Join us in our efforts to spread the word that we are open during this crisis and always. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to keep updated on this ever changing situation and how it affects the moms and babies of Good Counsel. Trust in God that He uses all things for good. Keep praying for our mission and know that we are praying for you.

Stay well and God bless.

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