Founded in 1984, Good Shepherd Center for Homeless Women and Children began as an emergency shelter and drop-in center for women living on the streets. In response to the increasing number of homeless women in Downtown Los Angeles, Catholic Charities of Los Angeles, Inc. appointed Sister Julia Mary Farley to spearhead the program.
Over the next eight years, Good Shepherd Center expanded its services to include the children of homeless women, establishing a transitional residence serving nine families in an old craftsman house. The Center also added a Mobile Outreach Program taking food, clothing, offers of shelter and words of hope to women on the street.
Recognizing a great need for even more extensive services, Sister Julia Mary envisioned a “Women’s Village” that would provide transitional housing, affordable long-term housing for disabled homeless women and their children, and a job training facility. The first part of this vision was realized in 1998 with the opening of Hawkes Transitional Residence for 30 women. In 2000, Angel Guardian Home opened with 12 apartments providing long-term housing in a supportive community setting for disabled homeless mothers and their children.
In June, 2008, the final piece of the Women’s Village was completed with the opening of Farley House. This residence includes transitional housing in one-bedroom apartments for 21 homeless mothers with children, an Employment and Client Services Center serving all Good Shepherd Center residents, and The Village Kitchen, a bakery and café serving the community, in which residents receive job training and experience in the culinary arts.
Today, Good Shepherd Center serves approximately 1,000 homeless women and children annually, and houses up to 93 women and 45 children each night. Through our comprehensive programs, we help homeless women every step of the way, giving them the tools and support they need to achieve self-sufficient lives.