Joseph’s House: A New York grandmother’s dream to help pregnant women


Two Catholic grandmothers with a dream and some prayers are responsible for the opening of Joseph’s House in Syracuse, NY, which offers pregnant women an alternative to abortion by giving them a home, care, financial and educational help, and ultimately life for both mother and baby.

Providing a practical and comprehensive alternative to abortion, the home – which opened this week – will start receiving women next month. The Syracuse Post-Standard reports:

The first two pregnant women will arrive next month. One of the women has a baby due in April and the other is due in May, said Kitty Spinelli, the executive director.

Joseph’s House for Women was Spinelli’s dream. One day, as the Roman Catholic mother and grandmother from Skaneateles prayed outside Planned Parenthood for an end to abortion, the idea came to her. Why not build a place where pregnant mothers in crisis can come, have their babies, and stay to learn how to parent and build a life?

However, the dream born from prayers outside Planned Parenthood saw a miraculous mound of funds too. The ladies began fundraising for the home just a year ago. The paper reports:

Nonprofit experts said what they pulled off was unprecedented: Joseph’s House raised $600,000 in a year. Some of the donations were in the thousands, but many were in $5s and $10s.

Because of the generosity of so many, the home was able to open quickly, ready to save babies and offer new lives to mothers who may otherwise have felt cornered into abortion.

The mission of Joseph’s House is simple:

Joseph’s House promotes the sanctity of life and the dignity of women by providing a nurturing home for mothers facing an unplanned pregnancy. The physical, emotional and spiritual well-being of the mother and her baby are cared for through the loving direction of staff members and access to resources including, educational, occupational and spiritual in the Catholic tradition, giving them the opportunity to achieve their God-given potential.

To serve their mission and ultimately the women, Joseph’s House has a myriad of programs to help mind, body and spirit – and then to help women exit and have full lives, complete with parenting skills if she decides to raise her baby.

Starting and surviving financially will be an effort, they know, as the Syracuse Post-Standard reports:

Joseph’s House has not and will not take any government money, Spinelli said. She and the others will have to continue a hard press for funding into the future. The group needs to raise at least $400,000 annually.

Most of that money pays for staff who provide direct services to the women and babies, Spinelli said. Her job as executive director is unpaid.

The structure for now depends largely on donated supplies and volunteers for help with everything from lawn care to babysitting.

Joseph’s House is one of many examples of how the pro-life community can work together to be a solution for the problem of abortion and save lives of babies while helping to redeem the lives of women facing unplanned pregnancies. There are other choices for unplanned pregnancies, and these two grandmothers in New York are just one more picture of how little it takes to do so much.

As the home prepares to receive women, it continues to need help from the public. You can find more information here on the website. In particular, here are some current ways they are asking for help, from prayers, to volunteers, to finances.

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