By Alice Kenny
Worn out, desperate and five months pregnant, Mocha slept in parks, shelters, subways – any place she could find — before she found her way to Good Counsel Homes, an affiliate of Catholic Charities.
“I felt like I was the lowest of the lows,” she says, her brown eyes batting back tears.
Her experience is typical of women served by Good Counsel Homes, says its co-founder and Executive Director Christopher Bell as he steers a 2008 blue KIA minivan, dropping off donations of diapers, baby food and changing tables at Good Counsel Homes in Spring Valley, Harrison, Hoboken and the South Bronx.
“Women who come to us are all in crisis,” he says. “Their boyfriends told them to have an abortion. Their moms threw them out when their babies were born. Fewer than half have high school degrees. Our job is to help them rebuild their lives.”
Counting Mocha, Good Counsel Homes has rebuilt nearly 6,000 lives since it began in 1984. Similar to most, Mocha stayed there for nearly a year and a half. She gave birth to her baby, worked two jobs, studied to become an electrocardiogram technician and learned how to be a mom.
“As soon as I stepped through the door I felt I had a home where I could get back on my feet,” she says.
Begun in a converted convent with a lot of help and little money, Good Counsel Homes now networks with maternity homes throughout the nation.
But, Mr. Bell says, it is caring for a single lonely mom and a single helpless baby that matters most. For Mocha, Good Counsel Homes gave her and the little boy she bore a chance for rebirth.
Today she and her now three-year-old son have a home of their own.
“I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them,” Mocha says.
Meet Mocha in this video.
Do you know someone facing a crisis pregnancy?
“Anyone from anywhere for any reason at any age can call our crisis help line,” Mr. Bells says.
Call 1- 800-723 8331. Call now.