ounded 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 women experiencing homelessness, 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 women experiencing homelessness and their children. 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 mothers experiencing homelessness 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 mothers experiencing homelessness with children, an Employment and Client Services Center serving all Good Shepherd Center residents, and The Family Services Program, providing support and programs for children, mothers and families.
Today, Good Shepherd Center serves over 1,500 women and children experiencing homelessness annually, and houses up to 93 women and over 50 children each night in transitional, crisis & bridge, and long term housing. Through our comprehensive programs, we help women experiencing homelessness every step of the way, giving them the tools and support they need to achieve self-sufficient lives.