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Good Counsel, Inc.

Rating: 4.89 stars   45 reviews 6,152

Address:

411 Clinton Street Hoboken NJ 07030 USA

Mission:

Good counsel is a family for those in need, serving god who is the father of the orphan, defender of the widow, and who gives the lonely a home to live in (psalm 68). [see continuation on schedule o][continued from part iii] - our lord's call to serve the disadvantaged compels us to offer love, shelter and the opportunity to grow in self-respect and independence. We invoke the patronage of mary, the lady of good counsel, to help us protect mothers in need and to love their children from the moment of conception.

Programs:

Housing: offering your home to someone in need is a great act of charity. In fact, for christians, offering shelter is an expected corporal work of mercy. Especially if you are offering a bedroom to a pregnant mother who has no other place to call home. That is exactly what you do when you give a gift to good counsel because that gift becomes a sanctuary for that pregnant mother who has no one else. Like one mother who was told to get out of her house by her mother when she explained she was going to give birth and the father of her child already told her, "i don't want you to have that fetus. " [see continuation on schedule o][continued from part iii] - for those who gave during 2014, you allowed 230 mothers and babies have 43,368 nights of shelter in one of good counsel's 4 homes. Our occupancy rate for the year was 106%. Again we were more than 100% because every time there is a mother in a dangerous situation, literally on the street, or more likely in a domestic violence situation, whether a bedroom is available or not, good counsel staff will take in that mom and transform the living room, an office, or even a chapel into a temporary bedroom. Also, your support during 2014 allowed us to finalize renovations and hire staff to re-open good counsel's 5th home during 2015. If you have ever given to good counsel since our first mom and baby entered on sunday, march 10, 1985, you have helped serve, just in our homes, 6,230 women and children, providing more than 600,000 nights of shelter. More than 900 babies have been born to mothers at a good counsel home. There's more to good counsel than this, but this is the underpinning of our mission helping mothers and babies. Our homes are found in new york city, rockland and westchester counties in new york state and burlington county, nj. Mothers in need come from all over, literally throughout the united states, and some who were born overseas. How does one find herself in a good counsel home? Through hospital social workers or nurses; through people who hear a good counsel speaker at a banquet or an event or on t. V. Or the radio; through an online search; a doctor's offices; pregnancy centers or simply by calling good counsel's 24/7 helpline 1. 800. 723. 8331 or going to www. Goodcounselhomes. Org and sending an email. Inside a good counsel home all the corporal works of mercy are performed. Feeding the hungry: "i haven't eaten in two days," christy told sabrina, our intake worker, over the phone. "i'm starving and i have been looking for food that others are throwing away," the four-month pregnant woman quietly stated in an embarrassed tone. That night christy was having dinner, like a family member, at a good counsel table. During 2014 we served more than 25,000 meals to good counsel mothers and children. We do get some of our food donated and we share community meals at night but it is due to the generosity of you who support good counsel that everyone under our roof is feed. Giving drink to the thirsty: "angie loves her milk! " exclaims julianne her mom. "i think she goes through a gallon a day all by herself! "many of our babies drink formula but on average each good counsel home will consume 10 gallons of milk per week. That makes close to 2,100 gallons of milk per year! Clothing the naked: alicia was late arriving to good counsel in the bronx. Delores, then our house manager, stayed late to welcome her. Delores brought alicia into her new bedroom and told her to clean up before she would heat up some dinner for her. As alicia was in the bathroom showering delores noticed her shoes. They were very worn out and actually had holes in the soles. Delores thought it would be great for alicia to have some new shoes and so she searched all through the house in search of shoes that would fit but came up empty. Suddenly delores realized there was one pair of new shoes that would fit the new woman; the ones she wore. Gladly she gave them to our new resident. Visiting the sick: good counsel has a special home called daystar which is located on the grounds of st. Vincent's hospital in harrison, new york. The easy access to the medical facilities allows us to give special care to those who may be mentally ill or suffer from a substance abuse issue or both. Our special outreach to psychologically troubled pregnant women is one of the few in the entire country. Visiting the imprisoned: some women with a prison history or having outstanding legal issues come to good counsel. Sometimes there are outstanding warrants. Maybe minor offenses, but out of fear or not understanding, such offenses can be cause for imprisonment. Good counsel has advocated for mother's rights, particularly when she is close to giving birth or when it was clear she would benefit from prenatal care outside of a prison health care system. Of course, the good counsel continues to rectify whatever legal matters a mother may have. Thanks to pro-bono attorneys, particularly at the legal center for life of new jersey, many cases have been judiciously and appropriately adjudicated. Burying the dead: one of our most tragic events is when a good counsel mother miscarries or has a stillborn death. A respect for the dignity of each human person requires that we treat each life as sacred. Over many years good counsel has been blessed by many funeral directors who have offered complimentary services and churches that have opened their doors for masses and plots for burial. Grief shared is half grief, says an honduran proverb. "too many hospitals do not consider or offer a burial for a lost child," christopher bell stated following a recent funeral mass offered at st. Joseph's church in spring valley, new york for a baby named angel. "in the midst of the pain and loss we are prepared to be with a grieving mother and help her know that her child is being spiritually cared for as they make their way to the lord. " you may see and read more about good counsel's moms and babies at www. Goodcounselhomes. Org or by liking good counsel homes on facebook or finding our good counsel homes youtube channel www. Youtube. Com/user/goodcounselhomes

counseling:a typical definition of counseling: "advice and support given to help others with problems or to make important decisions. " a secondary definition is "professional guidance using psychological methods collecting personal history, comparing to others, and using various techniques including written tests. " both forms of counseling are commonly employed at good counsel. Every mom walking into a good counsel door becomes part of the family at her home. She begins a unique relationship with one case manager. [see continuation on schedule o][continued from part iii] - she will also have a mentor who is like her sister and can be any member of the staff. The mom may choose who is with her during her time of delivery. Every step of the way trained good counsel staff help each mom seek to uncover the struggles and strains which brought her to our doors. Good counsel mothers often report prior abuse, nearly 80%, either sexual, physical, or seriously emotional. Also, during 2014, some 20% reported having had at least one abortion. We know from other studies that this figure is largely understated. During the first month at good counsel each mom is guided to use online assessment tools to discover more about herself, her educational strengths and weaknesses and her vocational proclivities. Her case manager, along with her mentor and other staff will help her understand the assessments as well as constructively listen to the hopes and desires she has for the future. The case manager will officially meet each mother at least one hour each week. Other informal meetings happen as needed and usually more than once a week. Just the formal meetings totaled more than 10,837 during 2014. Additionally, more than half, about 56% of mothers received outside professional counseling. Given good counsel's open intake and ability to take in and assist for a year or longer mothers with great emotional, and often psychological challenges, seeing that of the 105 mothers who stayed 30 days or longer, their average length of stay overall was 12. 6 months. More than a third, 35%, made educational advances, and almost half, 48%, entered the work force. Also, it's most important to remember that every day a mother is in a good counsel home, she and her baby, before and after birth, is safe, eating well and encouraged to do the best she is capable. It's impossible to know and measure how much abuse and neglect is avoided or eliminated because someone is surrounded by a caring family, which good counsel strives to be for those in need.

life skills programs: a total of 702 life skills programs were received by good counsel mothers during 2014. Life skills help deepen a mother's knowledge and awareness of living a healthy, productive life. Life skills are presented formally in classes and individually as needed. Such areas as proper nutrition, child growth and development, health, and social skills are taught using specific outlines prepared for good counsel mothers. Personal finance is taught individually helping each mother develop her own budget. Spirituality is shared both formally in group meetings and individually as each mother desires and explores her relationship with god. [see continuation on schedule o][continued from part iii] - we share a loving, merciful, forgiving god who has brought us together to live for each other. Paid staff or professional volunteers, with expertise in each area, present life skills classes. Plus, mothers are able to take individual online classes in some of these topics. A minimum of three and sometimes four group classes are taught in each home each week.

in addition to programs already mentioned, there are other significant programs at good counsel, some of which have grown out of the needs many mothers and their children have expressed in our homes. Good counsel's intake staff operate a 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week, helpline 1. 800. 723. 8331. Since beginning this national, toll-free helpline more than 33,200 people have received concrete help, phone counseling and support. During 2013 more than 3,400 calls were received. During 2014, some 3,522 calls came in, plus an additional 465 requests were emailed. Good counsel's website, www. Goodcounselhomes. Org is coming up high on google's rankings for "homeless and pregnant" meaning women in need from all over the country are asking for help. Good counsel is responding with added staff. Future plans will include additional online tools to automate help for mothers looking online in their geographic area, as well as an option to chat with a live person. Good counsel also operates a post-abortion counseling and referral network called lumina to help women as well as men and siblings suffering from past abortions. Confidential counseling is available through lumina's national, toll-free helpline 1. 877. 586. 4621 (1. 877. Lumina-1) or for information, please visit www. Postabortionhelp. Org good counsel stays in touch with mothers who leave through our exodus program, where former residents receive on-going counseling to ease the difficulties transitioning to independent living. Additionally, some single-parent families, not needing a good counsel home, still may receive good counsel staff assistance via outreach through our exodus program in a critical situation. Some 211 exodus and outreach families were assisted during 2014. During 2001, good counsel was one of the founders of the pregnancy services network of greater new york, a coalition of maternity homes and pregnancy centers in the ny, nj and connecticut area. The group meets regularly throughout the year. During 2013, good counsel also helped to form the national maternity housing coalition, a group of three dozen maternity homes throughout the u. S. Good counsel is represented on the leadership team of the nmhc and participates in regular conference calls, an annual meeting and conference all of which continue to bear much fruit in the way of sharing best practices and assisting new and existing homes.

2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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(201) 795-0637
goodcounselhomes.org

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Reviews for Good Counsel, Inc.

Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

Since Chris Bell was inspired by Father Benedict Groeschel to put his considerable talents and energies to this task, the program has continued to grow and thrive. It is one of the very few charities which consistently uses donor funds to the maximum advantage through the use of volunteer and community resources. When you feel the urge to give and share your bounty with others, I strongly recommend you put Good Counsel at the top of your list.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

contact with young women Chris's services have helped.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

ask more people to donate more to allow Good Counsel to offer more and improved services.

What is unique about this organization?

The dream upon which it was founded truly affects the quality of life of every person and every family the world over.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

Have known Chris and Father for decades since before they began Good Counsel homes, and this is, bar none, the best of all the wonderfully good programs providing services to unwed mothers and struggling families. Donate if you possibly can!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing their success stories firsthand.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

increase publicity!

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

Great Nonprofits has asked for a follow-up review of GOOD COUNSEL, INC. I continue to receive mail from them and I donate when I can, although my limited funds prevent me from donating as much as I would like.
GOOD COUNSEL HOMES continues to provide HOPE, SECURITY, ENCOURAGEMENT, AFFIRMATION PEACE, food, clothing, shelter, community, education, job training, child care, and WELCOME to women in crisis pregnancies who otherwise might have nowhere else to go and who otherwise might be deceived into thinking that abortion is their only choice.
GOOD COUNSEL doesn't only talk the pro-life talk, but, more importantly, they walk the pro-life walk, because they walk women in crisis pregnancies (and any other children they may have) through their pregnancy and delivery and continue to welcome them and provide for them as long as they need to stay afterwards and help them get on their feet and prepare them to live and care for their child/children independently. They do this in a loving, faith-filled community.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I receive their letters about the women and children they have helped--usually each letter tells the story of one woman and her baby--a first name only, and sometimes the first name changed to ensure privacy. This organization first opened its doors on March 10, 1985, the evening on which I was baptized in the Holy Spirit in my Catholic Charismatic prayer group.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Arrange for cards with their name and toll free number to be distributed to all groups who pray in front of abortion clinics and/or do sidewalk counseling and to crisis pregnancy centers so that all women who are contemplating abortion will know that they have an alternative and a safe place to go and choose life for their unborn babies.

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

GOOD COUNSEL opened the doors of its first home for women in crisis pregnancies on March 10, 1985, which is also the Sunday night on which I was prayed over for Baptism in the Holy Spirit, so I feel a special bond with this organization because of this connection as well as because of their great work. I am strongly pro-life, and I believe that if we are pro-life, not only do we need to lobby for pro-life legislation and candidates (and I support these efforts) but also put our money where our mouths are. It is easy to say "Don't abort"-- a lot harder to be in a crisis pregnancy. What I love about GOOD COUNSEL is that it helps women to choose life and provides them with all kinds of much needed support: a roof over their heads, food on the table, clothing, a sense of community/family, guidance, opportunities for education, child care, etc. Because of organizations like GOOD COUNSEL, women are empowered to make the right choice--the choice for life. I always say that the pro-abortion groups are not truly "pro-choice" but organizations like GOOD COUNSEL are the TRUE "pro-choice" organizations because without people like those in GOOD COUNSEL, many women in crisis pregnancies truly have a "choice" and can choose life for their unborn babies.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I read Christopher Bell's letters and the news articles and see the success of these mothers and babies, and they touch my heart.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Try to "spread the word" about this organization more. Most people know about the pro-life movement on the political front. Some know about crisis pregnancy centers--some so-called "pro-choice" people these falsely accuse crisis pregnancies of exaggerating the possible bad consequences of abortion. People need to know the extent to which you are actively helping women in crisis pregnancies in very real and practical ways, and I don't think enough people have heard of your organization.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been blessed to know the founders Fr. Benedict & Chris Bell for over 20 years. I have worked with Fr. B and met Mr. Bell several times. Meet them for yourself and you will see that Good Counsel is a true charity. If you want to make sure that your money helps a mom & child in need, give to Good Counsel. As God is my witness, this organization will use your funds to love your neighbor.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I know the founders and have seen their work for decades.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Have them grow nationally. The need is way beyond their neighborhood and their expertise is rare.

 
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Review from Guidestar
Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

My comely bride once opened the first pregnancy counseling center in Manhattan, almost a quarter century ago. She had a lot of volunteer help, including even me on occasion, and the stories I learned from her then were often often fairly terrifying, but more often deeply moving.

Most all of these latter didn’t include many fireworks, but were steady and simple things; the small ways that people would go out of their way to help somebody else, like the woman who went after midnight to what was then a pretty scary Harlem, to bring a mother there some diapers for her newborn.

I don’t recall exactly when Good Counsel came into the picture, though I do remember that it did so soon, and, soon enough, regularly. I still know Good Counsel’s work only in the most general way, which is that it provides a haven to live for women with children, and pregnant women, when they have no place to go.

But I have tried to imagine what it would be like to be pregnant with no place to go, and no one willing to help except the abortion provider, which then wouldn’t mean much of a choice. Since Good Counsel has been around for a long time now, it has been able to provide such a choice for surely hundreds and maybe even thousands of women and their children; but though that reads as a fine statistic, I keep coming back to that one woman, feeling helpless and alone, maybe wanting to love her child, but – well, having no choice. And then, because of Good Counsel, discovering as though it were a miracle that she has a choice after all, and hope too.

Due to the warm and focused environment at the Good Counsel homes, it’s probably not a surprise that the miracle these women experience there has also helped most of them to get their lives back on track. Helped many even to become happy I expect, maybe not least because of the children they now love, that almost didn’t make it.

All this stands on its own it seems fair to propose. But also fair to suggest it worthy of recognition in the non-profit world, and the world at large.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

see review

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

expand it

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Good Counsel, Inc. is more than a pregnancy care center; it is a place for a woman in crisis to find a home. When a pregnant mom comes to Good Counsel, she receives more than shelter; she receives medical care, parenting classes and job training assessments. She becomes part of a "family" that longs to see her succeed. When her baby is born, the mom can stay for a year or more, working on the parenting skills, the life skills, and the job skills that she needs to be a contributing part of society. She is helped to find a place to live and a job. Programs continue after she leaves, giving her a lifeline to continue her progress and a safety net to steady her.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have read the stories of the women whose lives have been changed and babies have been saved because of the care they received at Good Counsel. In addition to the food, shelter and training, the Good Counsel Homes organization also offers programs that help women heal from sexual trauma and abortion. It is one of a kind in its scope of helping the whole woman.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

find ways to fund the organization so more time could be spent on working with the moms and less on fundraising.

Was your donation impactful?

Unsure

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Likely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

What specific problem, purpose, priority, or project prompted your gift?

need to establish a home in this area of the state

Why did you make your donation at this time?

part of their dinner fundraising effort

What would you tell others about this organization?

Solid organization that helps the whole woman deal with pregnancy and a new baby.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

From the moment I first leared about Good Counsel, the organization communicated clearly by word and action who they are and what they do. Good Counsel demonstrates a singularity of purpose and a commitment to the most vulnerable of our society - pregnant, homeless women and their unborn. I was convinced from the very beginning that the endeavors of Good Counsel were badly needed. What impressed me about Good Counsel is that is not only provided for the physical needs of needy women and babies but has a structured program for education, parenting skills and counseling. Clearly, Good Counsel works tirelessly to make life better for homeless women. I have met the co-founder, Chris Bell, whom I came to know as a devoted man who is personally involed on all levels of helping those in need. Good Counsel is an organization to which I want to contribute my time, talent and treasure. Wish I lived closer to one of the Good Counsel Homes so I could be a volunteer.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

a communication from Chris Bell almost 10 years ago. I was immediately impressed with the work of Good Counsel and the way in which homeless preganant women and mothers were being helped.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Build many more Good Counsel Homes - especially in southern New Jersey.

 
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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

I am amazed to witness the impact that Good Counsel Homes, Inc. is making in our area. They are making such a positive change in the lives of pregnant women who have no place to go and have no support. Not only does Good Counsel help them with shelter, but with educating them about their choices. I am a proud supporter of Good Counsel Homes and I believe in their cause.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Donors and supporters of Good Counsel receive frequent updates about women and their babies that have been helped.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Help even more women if they could. There isn't another organization out there doing what Good Counsel is doing, so funding is very much needed to expand their program.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

How did you learn about this organization?

Brenda Quinn making announcements at our church

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Good Counsel Homes is a home for the homeless Mom. This is sorely needed is today's society where we are experiencing a great deal of economic hardship.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Bringing frightened women to this safe haven.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Have them expand to reach more homeless Moms so they are not alone.

 
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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 4 stars  

I have counseled young pregnant women and those who choose abortion because they thought they had no other option. Many were afraid they would be trown out of their homes or abused by the father and were told that abortion was their only optioned. This started a downward spiral in their lives. All they wanted was support and a different option which Good Counsel home could have provided for them if only it was open in South Jersey. Please Support this alternative for women facing an unplanned pregnancy. Mary Anne B. Serra RN, ADN, BA

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I saw the need for this organization from the pain and suffering of those who were in need of these services.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would open it ASAP.

 
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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

If the Good Counsel homes didn´t take the pregnant women who are homeless, both lives are endangered. The comprehensive care of Good Counsel Homes doesn´t just rescue, it provides a network of support and hope the the mother and child´s futures--both of them. What a blessing in our risk-filled world, and a wonder to behold in action. I invite all to visit a Good Counsel home in operation and witness the work. I may not give any names, but you will see the happiness and hope.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

shared stories by the founder and witness of my sister to his dedication and perseverance in helping save women´s lives, as well as his wife´s.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

spend more on advertising.

 
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