St. Clare's Home for Women and Children
Sister Claire Frawley, Founder Executive Director
In 1983, Sister Claire Frawley founded St. Clare's Home. Before that time there was no shelter facility for homeless women and children in North County. Sister Claire recognized the urgent need when a young pregnant woman with two small children arrived at the door of her Youth Ministry. They had not eaten in two days and were in despair. There was no shelter facility to help them. Armed with firm resolution and a prayer, Sister Claire took them home with her for the weekend. Shortly thereafter, she rented a house for this little family and another young mother in need. As they came to her door, the poor, the tired, the hungry, and the hurt, Sister Claire found more beds and more food... and so Saint Clare's Home began.
It became the mission of Sister Claire Frawley to provide food, shelter, clothing, medical care, transportation, psychological counseling, continuing education, job skills training, encouragement and unconditional love. Most of St. Clare's young residents have never known unconditional caring or lived in an environment of emotional support. Their emotional response to these acts of kindness is simply overwhelming. Their letters poems of gratitude, pictures and art decorate Sister Claire's office and the hallways of St. Clare's administrative office. Even St. Clare's Home logo is a loving reminder of a small child who simply drew picture with the caption "I love my home." This small picture appears on each piece of letterhead and business card at St. Clare's Home. Over the years, St. Clare's Home has evolved into a public nonprofit nondenominational agency serving over 3,250 homeless women and children throughout the County. Today, St. Clare's operates eight residential shelter homes supervised by trained Case Managers and the Little Angels Learning Center for children's day care, play therapy and counseling services.
The recent addition of a Counseling and Resource Center provided the opportunity to expand educational and program services. This new facility has served to enhance the women's perspective with broader exposure, motivated their desire for personal growth, assisted them in goal setting and achievement, and boosted their self confidence... all steps toward their ultimate goals: self worth and independence.
Homeless women and children may stay at St. Clare's Home for 2 years. Although predicting the time it takes to repair a broken spirit is nearly impossible, St Clare's Home sets precedent for program longevity in San Diego County, providing aftercare services to assure a successful transition to independence. St Clare's Home is funded by generous corporations like UPS, foundations, individuals, and government grants. St Clare's Thrift Shoppe receives in kind gifts and has the loyal support of longtime volunteers and service clubs.