Our History

History 2021-01-04T09:24:42-05:00

Eighty Years of Service

Saint Andre Home, Inc. has been providing services to vulnerable women and children for more than 80 years. During the mid to late 1800s, the Good Shepherd Sisters of Quebec, who are the founders of Saint Andre Home, ministered to prostitutes in jails and on the streets of Quebec.

Our first physical “home” in Biddeford, Maine first came into existence in 1940 out of a spirit of compassion to help unwed mothers and her unborn child.  Throughout the history of Saint Andre Home, the mission has always been the focus: to serve young women and children in need and promote the individual dignity of each person approaching the agency with a need.

From 1940 to today, the sisters have adapted the programs to meet the current needs of women and children. Therefore in 2013 when sisters, along with staff members, attended a conference about human trafficking that was put on by a foundation called “Not Here Justice In Action Network,” it was not a surprise that the group left the conference inspired and wanting to help women survivors of human trafficking. It was truly in tune with the mission and history of Saint Andre Home and the Good Shepherd Sisters.

Today, society has a more modern understanding that prostitution is frequently a form of exploitation, and there is a fuller understanding of the victimization and trauma that women experience when they are exploited. Calling upon existing agency resources and decades of experience providing services to women in Maine, the Sisters explored opportunities to develop a residential treatment program specifically for survivors of human trafficking.

Upon receiving $400,000 in start-up grant funding from the Next Generation Foundation, Saint Andre Home moved forward with planning this program and in June 2015 successfully opened CourageLIVES, Maine’s first residential treatment program for survivors of sex trafficking. CourageLIVES provides outpatient services for survivors of human trafficking and exploitation as well as a residential safe house for women age 18 years and older, most of whom have never had a long-term residence or lived in a safe place.

The Sisters remain committed to carrying out their mission to help vulnerable women and appreciate your support. When you make a gift to CourageLIVES you help ensure the dignity of the women is preserved and they are empowered to reach their fullest potential.