At Astoria House Eva helps make dinner and smiles.
A Home Makes a Difference
Women are released from jail or prison with almost no money or belongings; if they have an infant with them, they are given a small care package of baby necessities. Hour Children works to identify women with children who have no place to go upon release.
In response to the numbers of women in this situation, Hour Children operates five residences that provide 12 units of permanent housing and 40 transitional supportive housing units. Each year, Hour Children serves approximately 60-80 women and 85-100 children in our transitional and permanent housing residences. What makes Hour Children unique is the fact that families share their transitional housing space with Sisters who also live in the buildings. This provides extra opportunity for support, modeling, and guidance to the newly-reunited families.
My Mothers House
My Mother’s House
Our work began here 25 years ago, when Sr. Tesa and four other Sisters of St. Joseph began taking care of children in their former convent at St. Rita’s Parish while the children’s mothers were incarcerated. They were supported by a core group of volunteers who also helped care for the children. Over time, this 25-bed facility became a home for children and their mothers, and is the only official site in New York State where a woman on work release is allowed to live with her infant.
In 2010, Hour Children was awarded money from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to install an energy efficient heating system and windows in our houses.
In 1988, Hour Children completely refurbished an empty building which had been vandalized and was in need of repairs. Since then, it has provided transitional housing to 10 families. However, this building will be demolished in 2011 to make way for construction of a new apartment house for 18 families.
In 1988, Hour Children took over a former group home that had also been badly vandalized and was in need of repairs. It now provides transitional housing to 12 families.
Apartment House I and Apartment House II
In 2001, Hour Children purchased a residential building near our main offices and converted it into 4 units of permanent housing for our families. In 2005, with the support of NYC Housing and Preservation Department, we received a vacant building from the City of New York, and converted it into 8 units of permanent housing for our families. This is also just a block from our main offices.
Sr. Kathy’s House
To assist more families after a mother’s incarceration, in June 2009, we purchased a three-story residence in Corona, Queens, that offers communal, transitional housing to 12 families and permanent housing to two families. The mission of the new house is to continue the programs of Hour Children for the improvement, enhancement, and tradition for our mothers and their children.
The residence is named in honor of Sr. Kathy Costello, CSJ, one of our founding Sisters, who lovingly served Hour Children from its very beginning as one of its first foster mothers to children of incarcerated parents, and most recently has a Resident Staff Supervisor at My Mothers House. To our great sorrow, Sr. Kathy passed away September 2009. The spirit, passion and love that Sr. Kathy lived will be the constant reminder of what this house will be about.
12th Street – Apartment House III
My Mother’s House is a great place to relax with frien
Our newest housing project is the new construction of 18 units of permanent, supportive housing located on the site of our current offices, former thrift garage and Independence House. Funding has been acquired through the NYS Homeless Housing Assistance Corporation, low-income housing tax credits, Queensboro President Marshall and the Corporation for Supportive Housing. Demolition of existing structures will take place in the fall of 2011 with an opening date expected in 2013.
Please stay tuned for updates on this exciting project!