The York Street Project was formally established in 1989 to help homeless and economically disadvantaged women and children break the cycle of poverty and into a life of self-sufficiency. Out of the need to break this cycle of poverty, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace established the York Street Project, a network of four interrelated programs designed to take on the most basic of needs: housing, education and childcare.
The services of the York Street Project are currently offered in the three building structures at 81 and 89 York Street and at 240 Washington Street, Jersey City, New Jersey. A review of the histories of these structures reflects a wide and rich variety of uses and services provided by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace to women and children and others in need.
The Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace was founded in Nottingham, England in 1884. The primary purpose of this religious community was to answer the need of poor immigrant women for housing and jobs and training. To help them raise the funds needed to support this mission, the Sisters came to the United States. In 1885 they took up residence in Jersey City, New Jersey. Almost immediately, they became aware of the needs of poor working women and their children in Jersey City. Though their numbers were small, the Sisters decided to respond in some way to the needs of the poor in New Jersey.