e-mail us
Running the York Street Project

NCR Staff

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace's York Street Project is a complex of buildings that totals 66,000 square feet, including an old, refurbished hotel. The complex, directed by Sr. Ann Taylor, houses:

  • Kenmare High School, directed by Sr. Agnes Fox, which provides women drop outs the opportunity to earn a high school diploma and to receive job training.
  • The Nurturing Place, directed by Sr. Barbara Moran, a child development center for children whose mothers are in the high school or living at St. Joseph's Home.
  • St. Mary's Residence, directed by Sr. Mary Donohue, provides accommodation for single working women, many of whom are recent immigrants.
  • St. Joseph's Home, Sr. Kristin Funari's responsibility, offers 18 months of housing for homeless mothers and their children.

"They can't be actively using (drugs)," said Funari. "We love 12-step people. They're so self-righteous and they've been down for so long, when they start coming up they're the best.

"We look for personalities that are strong enough that they have a chance to attain independence," she said. "We don't keep people who are actively psychotic. It wouldn't work in this setting."

And there's no rush. "Before we push the residents to anything, we just let them catch their breath. For three months they can eat bacon and eggs and ribs until they're full enough to feel that it's time, and they have the strength. They've been homeless. Battered. They've moved from bed to bed to bed for the last 5 to 10 years of their lives. They need time to heal. They need time to feel safe." They have one or two bedrooms for themselves and their children. Locks on their doors. A secure haven and a chance to start anew.

National Catholic Reporter, November 15, 1996