A Ministry of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ

Case for Support

Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ - Values in Action!

Babies come to Nazareth Home with the most heart-breaking injuries.

Addicted to drugs. Violently shaken. Fractured skulls. Third-degree burns. Broken hips and bones. There’s a tragic story of abuse, illness, and poverty that comes with each child. For the last 24 years, the caring Sisters and co-workers of Nazareth Home have loved 196 babies and toddlers back to health. You can help injured babies who need your prayers, love, and financial support.

Nazareth Home, a licensed foster home located in East Chicago, Indiana, provides individualized 24-hour per day care for infants and toddlers suffering from drug addiction, abuse, neglect, or other serious health issues. The home is licensed for five infants and children from newborn to age six. Referrals are made to Nazareth Home by the Indiana Department of Child Services, Lake County division.
It is the mission of Nazareth Home, a ministry of The Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, to care for poor and powerless infants and children, those unable to speak for themselves, by providing them with a loving, caring and stable beginning. Nazareth Home is dedicated to meeting the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of medically-compromised infants and children who are faced with extraordinary challenges in life.

Nazareth Home was founded in 1993 by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ. That year, Sister Kathleen Quinn, PHJC, went to the administrator of St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago, to share her concerns about the infants that were being born of mothers who were drug addicted and/or had AIDS. Many people feared working with these babies for fear of becoming infected themselves. Sr. Kathleen received the blessing she had hoped for to establish a home for these babies. A St. Catherine Hospital staff member who later became a volunteer recalls the initial resistance of neighbors. “Neighbors were very apprehensive, so Sister Kathleen went door-to-door and talked with the entire neighborhood around Nazareth Home to minimize any fear. And the neighborhood was transformed after she communicated with them. They really did become neighbors of Nazareth Home.”

Set in a quiet residential neighborhood, Nazareth Home is truly a home, not an institution and has a traditional home foster license rather than a facility foster license. This license provides for five children although the state permits flexibility, allowing more than five when necessary in order to keep siblings together.

Providing care for children in need is something that the Poor Handmaids have done throughout their nearly 150-year history in America. Angel Guardian Orphanage in Chicago, Illinois was among the ministries that they served. This orphanage cared for thousands of neglected, needy and orphaned children.

From 1868 until the orphanage closed in 1974, approximately 400 Poor Handmaids would work there. Today, Misericordia occupies the grounds that were once home to thousands of orphans.

Caring for children with great needs can be costly. On a per child basis, in order to care for these medically fragile children, it costs approximately $282 per child, per day, or $1,410 per day of operations. Nazareth Home’s 2017 operating budget is $514,779. Only a small portion of this – roughly 9% - is covered by a stipend received from the state. Approximately 22% is funded through an endowment held at the Legacy Foundation – The Olga C. & William H. Brinkman Fund. A generous philanthropist established this fund in 2003 to provide ongoing support for Nazareth Home. The remainder of the budget is funded through private contributions – from grants, the annual Nazareth Home gala, and outright giving.

Nazareth Home is a department of Ancilla Systems Incorporated, which is a support ministry of the Poor Handmaids. Ancilla provides administrative services, facilities management, human resources, IT, finance, and development for Nazareth Home. Since these services are donated, much more of a donor’s dollar is able to go directly to the care of the children.

Nazareth Home has a full-time director and a live-in licensed foster mother. In addition to a qualified and devoted staff, volunteers give hundreds of hours of their time each year to care for the children. In 2016 alone, 33 volunteers spent 2,107 hours at Nazareth Home, cuddling and soothing infants, playing with toddlers, and providing unconditional love to our children. Many of our children also benefit from the services of physical, occupational, developmental and speech therapists.

Dr. Russell Reid, a pediatric plastic surgeon who performed three surgeries to repair a double cleft lip and palate on a baby girl while she was living at Nazareth Home, says, “Seeing my patient in the care of the staff at Nazareth Home, I could tell immediately that this stood out from anyplace I’ve seen.” He continues, “I take care of a lot of children in foster care, so I have a lot of experience judging the social environment, and immediately I could see that she had a huge amount of support. And for any of our surgeries to be successful, that is the biggest component.” Dr. Reid adds, “there is a brightness about her now that really shows, and I give all the credit to the team at Nazareth Home. What the people at Nazareth Home do – that’s really life-giving.” You can be part of the life-giving miracle that is Nazareth Home by making a gift today.