Kathy DiFiore, Founder of Several Sources Shelters received her Undergraduate Degree in Psychology from the University of Rochester in 1969. In 1979, she received her MBA from NYU and is currently studying for her doctorate in Education at the University of Phoenix online. From 1970 to 1978 she was a member of the NY State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Civil Rights Committee. Her business career included holding the position of Personnel Director, American Express, Credit Card Division and Personnel Director at Degussa Chemicals Corporation.
In 1981 Kathy decided to turn her own New Jersey home into a Shelter for mothers and their babies. As the demand for her help for pregnant women grew, Kathy made a decision to leave the corporate world and devote full time to helping mothers and babies in need. She is now operating four residential shelters in New Jersey, a 24-hour national hotline 1-800-662-2678 for pregnant women and five informative websites which receive about a million visitors a year.
Several Sources also has a fifth shelter called “Ladies Rest” in Newark, NJ for women who are homeless and in need of daytime help to get back on their feet.
Kathy has met with Mother Teresa on several occasions and has many spiritual letters of guidance from her. In 1984 Kathy’s work was threatened by a $10,000 fine from the State of NJ for operating an unlicensed boarding house, Mother Teresa wrote the governor which eventually helped to rescind the fine and change the NJ laws so Kathy’s work for the preborn and their mothers would become legal.
Kathy’s work was honored by President Ronald Reagan at the White House in 1988, and soon after, her work was honored by the US Congress. In 1989, Kathy received an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Felician College.
In 1998, Kathy was honored by being invested as a Dame of Malta and received at St. Bonaventure University, the Gaudete Award for her continuing work on behalf of our mothers and their babies. In June 1999, Several Sources became a Non Governmental Organization of the United Nations and Kathy is an Honorary Lifetime Member of the United Nations Women's Guild. Other Awards include the N.J. State Council of the Columbiettes "Humanitarian of the Year” Award in 1989, St. Elizabeth's College Catholic Woman of Achievement in 1995, and the Pax Christi N. J. Dorothy Day Award in 2001. In March of 2005, Kathy received the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award from the United Methodist Church of Newark, N.J. for her work in the inner city of Newark for women and children in need. In 2007 Kathy won the Abstinence Clearing House Impact Award and had her first research article published in the California Journal of Health Promotion. In 2008 she received the Mother Seton Award from SOAR.
In 2011, The New Jersey assembly passed a resolution honoring Kathy’s work with mothers and infants throughout New Jersey and poor inner city children who are “at risk” and children who are afflicted with AIDS (in Newark, NJ). Kathy was honored by the United Nations Women’s Guild in Sept. 2013 for her loyalty and dedication to the service of mother-child care programs.
Kathy’s most recent project is “Our Gift of Hope” Sonogram & Crisis Pregnancy Center in Englewood, NJ, where women with unplanned pregnancies can receive FREE sonograms to find out if they have a viable pregnancy and receive FREE shelter, baby supplies and help to parent their child.
In January of 2014 a full length feature film was released based on the inspiring true events at Kathy’s Several Sources Shelters. GIMME SHELTER centers on the courageous story of Agnes “Apple” Bailey (Vanessa Hudgens of the High School Musical franchise) and her incredible path to motherhood as a pregnant, homeless teenager. Forced to flee her abusive mother (Rosario Dawson, Sin City, Trance), and turned away by her Wall Street father (Brendan Fraser, Crash, The Mummy), Apple finds herself on a desperate and isolated journey of survival. In the depths of despair, she meets a compassionate stranger (James Earl Jones, The Great White Hope, Star Wars franchise), who ultimately leads her to salvation and unprecedented support in Kathy’s Several Sources Shelter for homeless teenagers. Kathy’s role was played by Anne Dowd (Compliance, Side Effects). With gained confidence, and the warmth of her new home, Apple breaks from her inhibiting past, embracing the future with clarity and hope. Also appearing in the film are several real life shelter mothers, their babies and a cameo of Kathy DiFiore.
In 2014 Kathy received the Pope John Paul II Gravitas Award from the Re: Image Film festival to recognize the virtue of Gravitas in her efforts to communicate God’s love through the use of the film Gimme Shelter. Also in 2014 Kathy was received a Christopher Award which “affirms the highest values of the human spirit” for her role as Producer and one of the key individuals portrayed in the full length feature film Gimme Shelter which chronicled the story of her shelters .Gimme Shelter distributed in the U.S. in January 2014 and by Sony International worldwide later in 2014. On September 4, 2014 Gimme Shelter will be shown at the United Nations in the Dag Hammarskjold Theater sponsored by the United Nations Women’s Guild. Kathy’s was honored by the Guild in 2013 and been a member for 25 years. Every diplomat and his wife will be invited.
Kathy now has a book entitled Gimme Love, Gimme Hope, Gimme Shelter is the spiritual and real-life story behind the film Gimme Shelter, in which she shares the events and experiences that led her to take great risks for others to ensure that she could provide shelter for the young women who came to her door. Through her relationship with Mother Teresa, Kathy found the support and courage to take on bureaucratic mountains so she could assist young girls facing life-altering decisions, women abandoned lost in hopelessness, and babies who deserve the chance to be born. In Gimme Love, Gimme Hope, Gimme Shelter, Kathy will take readers deeper into the struggles she encountered and the life-changing results that became a reality. Readers will be inspired by her tenacity, compassion and dedication to the purpose God has for her life. She will soon be releasing a second book which is the Study Guide for the Gimme Shelter movie. The guide walks through the major themes addressed in the film and poses questions for deeper spiritual exploration.
Through God's Grace, we save babies lives and shelter their young mothers while providing education and ongoing compassionate support services including our Pregnancy Sonogram Center. We further educate young people to make healthy life choices. We also shelter women who are homeless, sick and elderly as we help them to restore their dignity.
Several Sources Foundation
My visit to the White House on February 18, 1988, at the invitation of President Reagen was given to honor my work with mothers and children in need. Words fail to describe the feelings of patriotism and wonder I experienced, as we were guided through parts of the White House seldom seen by visitors. I remember a set of back stairs that were quite old and narrow. To think those very stairs upon which we were traveling were often used by Abraham Lincoln!
I remember being taught how to give a proper hello and handshake with the President. Then we were lead into the Oval Office and all the cameras started to flash.
President Reagen quoted from a poem that was found on a young Russian Soldier killed in action in 1944. The letter told of a young man who had never been taught about God, but who had come to believe in Him through the struggles and hardships of the war he was experiencing. The poem was sent to Reagen by a Wisconsin couple. The poem was written as the soldier lay looking up at the night sky and it ended with a poignant verse expressing the soldier's new found faith in God. President Reagen cited the Founding Fathers' faith in God and their desires for all Americans to have the right to pursue "life, liberty and happiness."
Your Sister in Christ Jesus,
Founder, Several Sources Foundation
Kathy DiFiore's friendship with Mother Teresa began in 1985 when the two women worked together to change the law in New Jersey so that Kathy could continue to shelter pregnant teens and their children in her home.
Proceedings and Debates of The 105th Congress, First Session
Tuesday, October 28, 1997
House of Representatives
Honoring Kathy DiFiore
Hon. Marge Roukema
Of New Jersey
In The House of Representatives
"Mr. Speaker, I rise today to thank Kathy DiFiore, of Ramsey, New Jersey, for the work she is doing on behalf of unwed mothers. Kathy is a dedicated and compassionate leader who lends support to young women at a trying period in their lives. Her work is well known across our state and has been supported by figures as prominent as former Gov. Tom Kean and the late Mother Teresa. We need more people like Kathy DiFiore to help with the issue of teen pregnancy.
More than a decade ago, Kathy opened a shelter for unwed mothers in her own, six - bedroom home. Today, she operates Several Sources Shelters, which has five homes for unwed mothers - two in Ramsey plus one each in Mendham, Newark and Washington Township. Kathy, a former Wall Street executive, has given thousands of women the moral and tangible support needed to bring their children into the world.
Even an effort as admirable as a shelter for unwed mothers does not succeed without overcoming obstacles. In 1984, state officials levied a $10,000 fine against Kathy, claming that her home - at that point a shelter - was being operated as an illegal boardinghouse. Similarly, Ramsey officials said it was unlikely she could be granted a zoning variance necessary to continue operating. The shelter's future was uncertain. Undaunted, Kathy convinced the State Legislature to pass a bill allowing her to remain in operation, Then Governor Kean, however, was hesitant to sign the measure.
It was at that point that Kathy contacted Mother Teresa and asked her help. Mother Teresa responded and, in turn, contacted Governor Kean and urged him to sign the law.
The Several Sources Foundation provides extensive counseling and information for pregnant women seeking an alternative to abortion and ultimately provides free shelter for expectant mothers and their children. The Foundation has found that many young women, particularly teenagers, have no place to stay while pregnant. It is, tragically, not uncommon for angry parents to "kick out" their daughters upon learning that they are pregnant. The Shelters allow mothers to stay during pregnancy and up to one year after the birth of a child. Each of the five shelters can house up to six mothers and their infants, supervised by an adult housemother.
Women who stay at the shelters are trained in the practical aspects of motherhood, including pre-natal care and homemaking. School-age mothers attend high school and are tutored at the shelter during the last weeks of pregnancy. Women who have dropped out of school are assisted in passing their GED and are given classes in practical, employment-related skills such as typing. Some go on to college.
Several Sources is a pro-life organization that offers a national telephone hotline for pregnant women. More than 200 women call the hotline each month and Kathy estimates that 15,000 abortions have been avoided since she founded the organization. The group also offers information through a World Wide Web site on the Internet.
None of this could be done without help, of course. Kathy is assisted by a number of caring and dedicated volunteers, such as Donna Jacoby of Ridgewood. Others help the non-profit, non-sectarian organization through tax-deductible private donations and offerings at area churches.
Mr. Speaker, Kathy DiFiore is a deeply religious woman who has followed through on her Christian convictions. She communicated frequently with Mother Teresa, who served as her religious role model. She likes to say that it's necessary to "pray the work." Her efforts might be described as "working the prayer."
We need more people of deep conviction and conscience who do more than preach their morality and practice Christian charity in its truest form. Kathy DiFiore has transformed her convictions into action to help these women and children who are in greatest need, not only in daily care but also in educating and inspiring them to improve their lives and provide a promising, hopeful future for their newborn babies.
We all wish her renewed strength and inspiration so that many more might find life through her dedicated and devoted ministry."