Breaking the Cycle of Poverty

For more than 25 years, New Ground has been breaking the cycle of homelessness and poverty for families and veterans on Long Island. What started as a few sisters providing a home to refugees from war-torn Central America, is now an organization helping hundreds of Long Island’s homeless individuals and families.  Three Ursuline Sisters, Sr. Máiréad Barrett, founder, the late Sr. Mary Schramm, Sr. Catherine Talia and two Sisters from other congregations, created a home where those in need could find refuge. Five years later, in 1991, New Ground was founded.

Over the years, several Ursuline Sisters have ministered to New Ground clients. Sr. Geraldine Conklin and Sr. Joan of Arc Spelman tutored children and adults in English and reading. Sr. Valerie Heinonen and the late Sr. Eileen Gallagher served on the Board of Directors at New Ground.

Today, New Ground provides affordable, low-income housing as well as educational, vocational and mental health support. New Ground staff assesses each individual and addresses issues preventing them from achieving independence, working to eliminate them one by one. Individualized goal-oriented programs are created and tracked. Program participants receive assistance with returning to school to obtain GEDs, associate degrees, bachelor degrees, and/or vocational training to increase their earning potential. Parents receive guidance with financial education and budgeting, parenting skills, nutritional, medical and mental health challenges.

Advocating for children’s education is a priority. New Ground works to meet the social needs of children through their “Special Memories Program” which helps families celebrate holidays, create a positive atmosphere in the home and give children an opportunity to attend summer camp.

New Ground programs are working. Over 80% of families have secured permanent housing upon leaving the program and 100% of families have increased their household incomes while with New Ground. An extraordinary 96% of adults capable of employment are currently working. New Ground boast of 100% of their children being promoted to the next grade level or graduating on time. Through New Ground, families find a future of independent living and self-sufficiency that otherwise may have not been possible.

For more information on New Ground go to or call 516-564-4764.