St. Matthew’s Cornerstone Ministry

The Home of the Innocents was established in 1880 as a nonprofit shelter and pediatric convalescent center in Louisville, Kentucky. Today, the Home also operates as a shelter for children removed from their homes due to violence or neglect. It also provides support services for pregnant teenagers, transitional housing for teenage mothers and their children and housing for severely emotionally disturbed teenagers so they can stay in their home community.

Cornerstone began as a shared project between the Home of the Innocents and the Episcopal Cathedral prior to 2000. It was designed to be a young adult parenting program which provided assistance to mothers, ages eighteen to twenty-four in need of developing independent living, parenting, and work related skills. Participants at Cornerstone sessions received assistance with housing, employment, education and community resource services. Baby-sitting provided by volunteers, enabled mothers to participate in Cornerstone classes. Cornerstone classes and babysitting were held at the Episcopal Cathedral for 18 years.

When the Home of the Innocents moved to its new location in Butchertown, the Cornerstone program was moved there. The new location with its expanded space permits Cornerstone to meet one night a week which encourages group cohesion among participants. The dining area, group rooms and child care center are spacious and allow for more participants and future program growth.

On the first Tuesday evening of each month from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. volunteers from St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church prepare a hot meal and provide child care for the evening classes of skill building sessions and counseling services.

All Cornerstone members must attend weekly meetings and participate in peer support groups to complete the program’s requirements. There are approximately fifty participants in both the fall and spring Cornerstone cycle. After graduation many participants maintain their own housing in a subsidized community house, are employed, earn a high school or GED diploma. One recent Cornerstone graduates received a degree from college and is now a registered nurse.

Volunteer from other local churches including St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, St. Francis in the Fields Episcopal Church and St. Albert the Great also participate.

Volunteer service is essential to the success of Cornerstone Project. St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church has contributed many hours of child care and prepared meals for Cornerstone. Your support, dedication and interest, is deeply appreciated and has contributed to the success of many single parents in the Louisville community. To cook or send food, sign up on the bulletin board located across from the grand staircase or call Sharon Nesmith, 228-5218. To volunteer to babysit, call Diane Clark, 245-5633.

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