Diocesan News

Ground Broken for St. Gianna’s Women’s Homes Program is Newest Beneficiary of CSA

(SNR) - The newest beneficiary of Bishop Bruskewitz’s Charity and Stewardship appeal is Saint Gianna’s Women’s Homes.

For years, various priests, religious and laypersons in the diocese have understood the growing need for a safe, secure facility to shelter women and children escaping domestic abuse or the pressure to abort an unborn child.

Thanks to the generosity of people from across the diocese, the support of Catholic Social Services and the tireless campaigning of an enthusiastic board of directors, the dream has become a reality. A donated three-bedroom house is now operating as a safe haven for a mother and her children, and ground was broken for a new 24-unit apartment building on March 16.

The complex will include a chapel, daycare center, kitchen, exercise facility and a commons area. A small three-bedroom cloister will house the Marian Sisters who will serve as caseworkers for the women living in the facility.

Women and their children from anywhere in the diocese will be allowed to stay at the facility as long as they need to. Meanwhile, they will get help from various Catholic Social Services (CSS) programs so that they can live independently.

“We have programs that help women find a new permanent place to live, counseling, access to medical care, programs to help them find employment,” said Father Christopher Kubat, director of CSS. “When we do help them find an apartment, we have resources to help furnish it. We have a car program… This (the apartment building) is just the last piece of the puzzle.”

During a recent CSS capital campaign, generous contributions poured in for Saint Gianna’s Women’s Homes. The 10-month construction process is well on its way. However, Father Kubat said the need for funding is ongoing.

“Putting up the building is one thing,” he said. “It’s going to cost between $200,000 and $300,000 to run it each year.”

With the help of CSA funds, Saint Gianna’s Women’s Homes will be able to welcome up to 100 women and children at a time. The monies will help furnish each apartment, pay for utilities, stock refrigerators and pantries, and so on.

Every Catholic who contributes to the CSA drive will help Saint Gianna’s Women’s Homes shelter, protect and counsel abused and threatened women.
“It’s very exciting,” said Father Kubat said.

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