Heart's Home USA Overview
Target demographics: We visit and bring support and friendship to the home-bound, the elderly people, the sick and to the most lonely and wounded ones of our neighborhood regardless of their religion, background, ethnic group.
Most of the people we serve are living in the Housing Projects in the area of Heart’s Home USA.
We also visit the nursing homes, hospitals, shelters and care centers of our neighborhood.
We also reach out to the artists to bring them comfort through one-to-one friendship and a sense of community and belonging.
Geographic areas served: - International: America, Europe, Africa, Asia
- In the US: Brooklyn, New York City, Woodbourne, NY and San Francisco
Programs: Heart's Home in Brooklyn
We serve about 250 families and individuals: home-bound, sick, elderly, disabled people and the poorest families living in projects, shelters and nursing homes, bringing them moral support and grassroots services, helping them finding a path out of poverty and exclusion.
We strive to share this spirit of Compassion through friendships by organizing recreational and educative activities.
To experience the church as a community and to nourish faith, Sister Regine also organizes retreats for women on a regular basis.
American Volunteer Program
Heart’s Home recruits and places American volunteers to serve the neediest in one of the 35 Heart’s Homes around the world. The Volunteer Program encompasses the recruitment, training and placing of the volunteers. This includes fair attendance, “Come and See” weekends, two-week Orientation Programs and post-mission reunions.
The International Center for a Culture of Compassion aims at mediating an encounter between people from the world of Culture, Science, Business and Heart’s Home's Charism of Compassion. We believe such encounter to be the spark that fires up a Culture of Compassion, a culture based on gratuitous and compassionate friendship as the only positive answer to the cry of despair and loneliness voiced out by the contemporary world.
Heart's Home USA supports the Heart's Home in Chile. That means that we are responsible for finding the funds needed for the mission of the volunteers living there.
Through commitment of volunteers throughout the world, it spreads a Culture of Compassion as an answer to the universal reality of suffering. Through friendship, Heart’s Home volunteers bring consolation to the most wounded people and especially to the children. They work to affirm the intrinsic value of every human being at all levels of society.
The mission usually takes place in the most deprived areas of the world in:
- In Heart’s Homes located at the heart of the world’s most impoverished urban areas, where we provide grassroots services to the poorest, in orphanages, garbage dumps, jails, hospitals & slums.
-In Villages in third world rural areas where deprived families and disabled children, are welcomed and prepare for rehabilitation.
“There is a deep poverty in feeling forgotten, useless in the eyes of the world. When we visit our friends, it is most likely that they are having an ordinary day.
Sharing these simple moments elevates them to meaningful moments, it builds a friendship which is earnest, it reaches into the heart and hints to the person that, yes, they are so significant!
‘It’s the time that you spent on your rose that makes your rose so important.’, St Exupery.
We are spending time with roses.”
Leeanne, Volunteer in Manila, Philippines
Heart’s Home in the US
Mother Teresa used to say that “New-York is the place which is the most in need of compassion”, that’s the reason why Heart’s Home opened its first Center in the United States in 2003, in the Bronx. It moved to Brooklyn in May 2008.
In 2007 Heart’s Home USA founded the International Center for a Culture of Compassion in Woodbourne, NY that strives to build up a Culture of Compassion and raise awareness on Human Dignity through conferences, seminars and retreats.
The Program serves 250 individuals and families primarily in the Housing Projects of our neighborhood.
We also organize social events to fight against exclusion and encourage friendship among people from different backgrounds.
“They comfort me. They are people who share love with you! I would ask a favor from them and they would run to do that for me. I love them.”
Nikie, a friend from the neighborhood
American Volunteer Program
Since 2005, 21 North American volunteers were successfully trained and sent to 11 different countries for a time between one or two years.
This year 2010, 10 young American volunteers will go on an international full time mission with Heart’s Home for one to two years.
We launched a post-mission training for the alumni.
“I was sent on my mission to Honduras where I learned countless lessons from my neighbors, community and, especially, the children. I was told that Heart’s Home is like the Kindergarten of love; we have become very intelligent in many areas in our culture, but somehow we have missed the most basic lessons of love. I am very thankful for the calling to go on mission with Heart’s Home and am so grateful to have known all the people that I now hold in my heart from Honduras. I have been home in Washington State for a year and a half now. Upon returning I knew that the charism of Heart’s Home, which is compassion, is what I want to continue living in my daily life. I aspire to have the same look that I strived for in Honduras, of viewing each person I meet as an opportunity to love. ”
Amy, former Volunteer in Honduras
During this past school year, the ICCC received approximately 350 guests for conferences, retreats and seminars.
For instance, we hosted an art Seminar with the participation of some Julliard’s students.
We also organized a Family Day with more than 60 people.
“On Sunday, I took my family to the ICCC in upstate New York for a one-day family retreat with Heart’s Home.[...]
In the way you are treated, in the way that you are surrounded by beauty, you feel that there is nothing to do but be present here, together with the Lord and each other, enjoying long meandering conversations. […]
My oldest daughter asked, “Can we do this again?” I said, “I would love that.”
Matthew, one of our friend from New-York who took part to the Family day at the ICCC
International Results to date
Since the foundation in 1990, Heart’s Home has opened 55 Houses in 20 Countries.
It has recruited more than 1,300 full time long term volunteers from 18 nationalities and sent them overseas in its houses all over the world.