Who We Are
Who We Are
Our goal is to help our residents obtain permanent housing, get an education, learn job skills and find employment. This four-tier approach enables women and children to become strong families. We provide daycare for our infants and toddlers, and we assure that our older children are enrolled in school. In addition, all residents have access to a Registered Nurse through our Family Health Services Program.
Our unique structure provides a home away from home. Our core community members, volunteers and staff share in the day-to-day life of our residents, teaching by example the life skills that will help them successfully reintegrate into the community.
Around 50,000 women and families will sleep in New York City's homeless shelters tonight. We ultimately strive to break the cycle of homelessness, abuse and return to incarceration through creating long-lasting change in the lives of these women and families. We serve over 500 women and children at Providence House every year but we cannot achieve our goals alone.
Emphasizing the dignity of every human person, Providence House affirms its commitment to provide shelter and support to homeless, abused and formerly incarcerated women and their children in a hospitable, non-violent, compassionate atmosphere. We also strive to address the causes of injustice and work towards the full and fruitful participation in the community of those with whom we share life.
To end the cycle of homelessness, abuse and return to incarceration through creating long-lasting change in the lives of women and families we serve. By continuing to maintain the high standards of Providence House’s diverse programs and services while simultaneously providing a nurturing community and caring home for each and every woman and family we take in, we believe we can make a significant impact.
Whether in conversation over dinner or in helping with a job search, Providence House’s values are behind everything we do. Our key values are:
This grew out of a response to a need that Sister Elaine Roulet saw firsthand while ministering to ex-offenders at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility as Director of the Children’s Center. Shortly prior to their release, women were approved for weekend furloughs so they could begin the reunification process with their families. The problem was that there was no place for them to stay on these weekend visits, since many times their children had been split up among relatives or were living in foster care.
Sister Elaine asked the Sisters at St. James Convent in Brooklyn if they would provide hospitality for these women, and the Sisters readily agreed. Within a short time, the number of women who needed shelter outgrew the space available at the convent. A group of three Sisters, along with Sister Elaine, began to look for a house where they could accommodate more women. After much searching they settled on the former Xaverian Brothers house at Holy Cross Parish in East Flatbush, Brooklyn. In August 1979, the vision for Providence House was realized when the four Sisters moved in to prepare for families who needed a temporary place to stay.
Providence House has since grown from the house on Church Avenue to include five transitional residences located in Brooklyn and Queens; a transitional residence and permanent housing program in Westchester; and an apartment program and two permanent housing facilities in Brooklyn.