With the support of the Good Shepherd Sisters and a small state grant, Sister Charity Kohl established CORA Services in 1971 as a small family counseling agency to help children and families overcome adversities in their school, home and neighborhood. CORA served 600 children that first year—double what they expected.
Services grew rapidly as the organization secured contracts to provide psychological and counseling services in the non-public schools in 1973, with educational remediation and speech services added in 1975. Many of CORA’s hallmark programs were launched in those first two decades in response to the changing needs of the community.
During its early history, CORA Services operated out of two buildings in northeast Philadelphia owned by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd. In 2003 the Sisters gifted five acres to CORA Services, and the organization built its new building which opened in 2004 housing offices, a conference center, a client service center, the Early Years Fox Chase program, and the Career Development Resource Center.
Sister Charity cared deeply about helping her community, and her vision to help “at-risk” children has grown into a non-profit agency serving almost 16,000 children and families annually.