Introducing Grace Center


JPIC_2013_Grace Center_Chardon_Sister Mary Berrigan with infantWhen mothers bring their children to Blessing House, they want their children to be in a safe place while they deal with a family emergency. They are trying to deal with the emotions of their children as well as their own emotions. They are trying to find resources to resolve their problems. They are often not feeling well because of physical or mental health problems. They are facing adversity and they need help.

Many of our mothers and grandmothers who are raising their grandchildren encounter adversity often. When they are living in poverty and have limited social and/or financial support, it does not take much for them to find themselves dealing with yet another crisis. A car that breaks down, an unexpected illness or accident, and a cut in hours at work are all events that can push a family into crisis.

At Blessing House, we have worked with many families who have needed support. We have watched their children so that they could work on their families’ needs. We have provided clothing and food for them when we could. We have also provided information, moral support, and encouragement as they have faced what seemed at times to be insurmountable odds.

Now we want to help even more these women who are struggling. We recently acquired use of the house next door to Blessing House and have converted it to a women’s outreach center where we will be providing more in-depth support services to the women whose children and grandchildren are staying or have stayed at Blessing House. We will be helping these women at Grace Center.

Women who participate in our outreach program will have the opportunity to learn ways they can work to address their problems, overcome adversity, and hopefully avert crises before they happen. We will be working with these women in the areas of education, career development, financial literacy, health and wellness, and parenting.

The women who participate will receive individual consultations from our social worker as well as have the opportunity to learn and engage with others in group sessions where they will hear from speakers versed in the various areas of interest. Women will be given guidance, encouragement, and hands-on assistance in the aspects of their lives that cause adversity for their families. Our goal is to help them become more resilient and more able to maintain their families’ stability.

Grace Center is a quiet place, a place of comfort, a place of grace. When asked why the house was called “Grace Center,” director Sister Mary Berrigan replied, “Grace is the presence of God that is in each one of us. It is a gift freely given by a loving God and is often symbolized by an image of light coming through the clouds of darkness. Grace Center will be a place where our parents and families can find light amidst the dark clouds in their lives. As an outreach center, Grace Center will provide support for the families God sends to us for help.”

By Blessing House Director: Sr. Mary Berrigan, Chardon Province

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