Sarah's Circle

Sarah's Circle is a refuge for women who are homeless or in need of a safe space. By providing housing assistance, case management, referral services, and life necessities, we encourage women to empower themselves by rebuilding both emotionally and physically; realizing their unique potential.
Sep 5, 2012

Construction has finally begun!

We are excited to share with you that construction and renovation on our new building is underway.

The photo above depicts the beginning stages of construction.

Thank you for all your support, we deeply appreciate your commitment to this project.

For those of you in the Chicago area, we would like to invite you to our Groundbreaking Ceremony. Please see the following details:

When: September 12, 2012 from 6pm to 8pm

Where: Boys and Girls Club at 4835 N Sheridan Road (between W Castlewood Ter and W Gunnison St)

Senator Heather Steans and Alderman James Cappleman will give opening remarks at 6:30 and emphasize the importance of Sarah's Circle's services for women who are homeless.

Complimental hors d'oeurves and beverages will be served.

If you would like to attend, please RSVP to Caroline Aiken at caiken@sarahs-circle.org.

Thank you again! 

Jun 20, 2012

Building Project Underway

Thank you again for your commitment to our project, A New Home for Sarah's Circle. 

After we move into our new building next year, Sarah's Circle will transform our current space into a permanent place for the interim housing program. Currently, the women in the interim housing program sleep in a local church basement at night and come to Sarah's Circle for daytime supportive services. Our new building will enable us to make necessary upgrades to this program at a permanent location. 

To thank you for your generous support of our new home, we will be having a very special groundbreaking party on September 12th. We would love to have you join us in celebrating not only a milestone for Sarah's Circle, but also step towards alleviating homelessness.

Stay tuned for more details about the groundbreaking party to come in the next few weeks!

P.S.- If you would like to subscribe to our emails to receive personal updates about how you can get more involved in helping women who are homeless, please email Caroline at caiken@sarahs-circle.org.

Jun 12, 2012

JJ's story.

Meet Joyce, affectionately known as JJ. She plays an important role on Sarah's Circle's Board of Directors and is a former client of Sarah's Circle.

JJ worked for thirty five years in the Trauma Unit of Cook County Hospital. While she worked hard every day and at many night shifts, she found time on the side to pursue her passion for cosmetology. In fact, she attended school part-time and received a full scholarship. Her true passion, she still says, is cosmetology and doing hair. She worked full-time at the hospital while working part-time at a salon to pursue her more creative talents.

But a traumatic experience in 2002 was a turning point in JJ’s life. When she returned home from work one day, her son beat her so intensely that she was left physically and mentally traumatized. “I didn’t even know who I was after that. I was so lost. I couldn’t believe my son would beat me like he did. His eyes were so cold... like he was on drugs.” After this crisis, she was so traumatized and in such physical and emotional pain that she couldn’t go back to work. “From my job, I never got any closure. The reason I left [so abruptly] is because of the trauma I had.” Subsequently, she lost everything financially and could no longer afford her apartment.

After she was released from the hospital, she stayed in an Interim Housing Program in the Uptown neighborhood in Chicago. This was when she also started coming to Sarah’s Circle for daytime supportive services.

“I went to – and still go to – the trauma, mood management, and art therapy groups at Sarah's Circle. Art therapy really calms me down. Mood management helps me deal with my anxiety. Trauma group helps me realize other people have experienced it, and it makes me feel like I’m not alone.”

While a local agency helped JJ secure transitional housing for 2 years, she was unsatisfied with the arrangements and did not have the option to choose where she lived. She became involved in an advocacy campaign in support of getting affordable housing in Uptown. She applied to become a resident at an Uptown apartment building, was accepted, and became a resident. This is where she has been living for the past 2 years. “I like my place. I chose the apartment I wanted.”

“The first 2 years I came here I couldn’t comprehend or stay focused because of the trauma I had been through. Attending the different groups at Sarah's Circle really helped me. Every time I go through my depressed phase, Sarah’s Circle helps me. I always know I have a place to come where I feel safe.”

JJ was the oldest of 11 children. “I always had the responsibility of taking care of my siblings. Now I’m 69 and I just need to take care of myself. It’s uncomfortable; I have to learn how to take care of just Joyce. I’ve learned to jot things down and stay focused and work on socializing more. I’m participating in a walking club through my building.” She's also a very active member of the community.

“Sarah’s Circle has helped me love myself more, and I’ve learned that when I need help, I should let someone know. I know that I can always come to Sarah’s Circle for help.”

Thank you for your support of Sarah's Circle. 

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