Named after St. Joseph because he provided for the Holy Family, the residence was the idea of Sr. Mary Elizabeth Gintling.
Born in 1914, Mary Elizabeth Gintling was a public health nurse before entering the Little Sisters of the Poor in 1943. She worked at the order's nursing homes in Detroit, Louisville, Cleveland, Baltimore and Manhattan. But at age 50, she felt God was calling her to a new way of life, and she decided to leave the Little Sisters in 1964.
The next year she opened the Joseph House in a row house in inner-city Baltimore. By 1964, she and a woman volunteer had started a new religious order of prayer and ministry based on the life of French priest Fr. Charles de Foucauld. Their community became known as the Little Sisters of Jesus and Mary.
Sr. Gintling later relocated Joseph House to Maryland's eastern shore, opened Joseph House Center in Salisbury, Maryland, in 1984, and the Joseph House Village in 1991. Her final project was Joseph House Workshop to provide job training for the homeless. It opened in 2005.
Sr. Mary Gintling died on October 27, 2004.
- Little Black Book, Diocese of Saginaw