The Beginning of Hour Children
In 1986 Sister Teresa Fitzgerald (Sr. Tesa) and four other Sisters of St. Joseph led an initiative to open the doors of St. Rita’s Convent when they began caring for children whose mothers were in prison. They continued this with support of volunteers from 1986 to 1992 when Hour Children officially incorporated into a non profit organization.
Hour Children has 5 residences that house approximately 60 families each year. We are unique in that we begin working with women and their children while the mothers are still incarcerated.
Prison-based services include:
- Advocacy to keep mothers and children together;
- Family visitation;
- Parenting classes;
- Legal assistance; and
- Family reunification counseling.
The relationships and services established in prison provide a bridge to community-based services and linkages, which is key to successful community re-entry and family reunification.
In the community, we have a full-continuum of services available -
- Childcare and,
- Counseling and employment assistance.
- Our food pantry serves our clients, the local community, and is also the site for a local CSA providing farm-fresh, organic produce on a sliding scale.
- Finally, our three thrift shops (Changes, The Attic, and Fancy thrift) offer affordable clothing and home furnishings to Hour Children clients and the local community.
The name of the organization was chosen by our dear friend, Jean Roulet, because the children’s lives are dictated by the “hour” of the mother’s arrest, the “hour” of the visit and the “hour” of her return.