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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Sarah's Circle

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Emergency Assistance, Homeless & Housing, Homeless Centers, Homeless Shelters, Human Services

Mission: Sarah’s Circle provides a full continuum of services for women, including housing, life necessities, and supportive services to help them permanently end their homelessness.

Results: In 1979, three women in the Uptown neighborhood saw the plight of women who were homeless. They were often cold and seeking shelter, hungry, highly vulnerable, and alone. Sarah’s Circle was started with compassion and spirit of service, and our agency continues to be a safe, welcoming place for women experiencing homelessness. With our resources and services, women are able to access shelter, food, showers, community, and more. From our humble beginning, Sarah’s Circle has grown to an agency providing a full continuum of services, but our mission remains the same. We serve women who are homeless, with a focus on transitioning women from homelessness into permanent housing. After 40 years of service, Sarah’s Circle is still growing to meet the needs of women. Over 2,000 women in Chicago will be homeless tonight. With the continued loss of affordable housing in our communities, Sarah’s Circle is increasingly focused on permanent supportive housing solutions. Sarah’s Circle is able to meet this challenge head on by completing a new facility in the fall of 2020. Here, Sarah’s Circle will provide 38 units of Permanent Supportive Housing, more program space, and an upgraded space for the Interim Housing Program. Sarah’s Circle is dedicated to providing permanent solutions for women in Chicago. The work we do 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, could not happen without the steadfast support of our donors and volunteers. Our supporters play a key role in providing the meals, community support, and life necessities that make Sarah’s Circle a home for hundreds of women throughout the year. It is with your help that we will continue to end homelessness for women in Chicago.

Target demographics: Women 18 and older who are homeless or at risk of homelessness

Direct beneficiaries per year: 800

Geographic areas served: Chicago, IL

Programs: Daytime Support Center Interim Housing Permanent Supportive Housing

Community Stories

11 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I found Sarah's Circe on a volunteer site and immediately was captivated by the amazing services they offer women. And now they offer service 24 hours a day which is terrific for these women who find themselves with nowhere else to turn. Everyone who works and volunteers at the organization works hard to give the clients everything they can to make their lives a little bit easier. It is a fantastic place.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Every Tuesday at 1:00 pm, when my volunteer shift is over, I leave Sarah’s Circle feeling grateful for my time there. The best days are when a client comes up to the front desk to announce that she has found a job, or that she is back in school, or she now finally has her own apartment. It is a victorious feeling for everyone. I heard abut Sarah's Circle at a resale shop who donated profits to Sarah's Circle. I was very impressed about the idea of helping women help themselves. When I started volunteering there, I was all the more impressed at the women's strength, resilience and patience. It is very rewarding to volunteer at Sarah’s Circle seeing how volunteers, interns and staff work together as a team to help homeless women get out of homelessness.

Melanie B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started at Sarah's Circle in January and I couldn't be happier. The staff is wonderful, helpful, and always supportive of their volunteers. I fully support the mission of Sarah's Circle and feel that they strive each day to support their clients in every way possible.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I didn't fully know what to expect when I began volunteering at Sarah's Circle. I have very little experience with the homeless population. I was worried that I might feel depressed while I volunteered there, but exactly the opposite is true! Sarah's Circle is a special and unique community for diverse, wonderful women who happen to be greatly in need. Being part of that community has been wonderful and I have enjoyed all of the relationships I've developed there -- with clients, staff and other volunteers! Without Sarah's Circle, I don't know where many of these women would be today.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Have you ever hauled a suitcase through an airport on your way to a vacation destination & thought, "What an ordeal to keep track of one suitcase from baggage claim to hotel!!!"? Imagine having to guard ALL your belongings 24/7 on the streets of Chicago, without a safe place to rest? That is reality for the women of Sarah's Circle. Wouldn't it be wonderful to provide permanent housing or at least safe havens for women who have found themselves on the streets? The dedicated staff and volunteers of Sarah's hope to accomplish this for the women who find life necessities & friendship there.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Sarah's Circle helps women get back on their feet and get their lives back from a variety of difficult to overcome personal challenges. Sarah's Circle services are more than a safety net--it's a community of women coming together to make us all stronger.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Sarah's Circle is a shelter and drop-in day center for women in need. They have many daytime services such as laundry and showers, as well as providing aid through case management, social work, and housing. Everyone at Sarah's Circle is determined to better the lives of the women they serve. The staff is passionate and committed to the women and are always willing to help out and empower the women in any way they can. The clients are the primary concern at this institution and the staff are constantly working to better serve them.

chicagovol22

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at Sarah's Circle for about a year and have never met such a dedicated group of professionals as those who work at Sarah's Circle. They truly care about the women they are helping, and make continual efforts to get the community involved and educated as well. Kudos to the staff here, and keep up the great work!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Sarah's Circle was originally just a day center for homeless women but now it has extended its hours to be from 8am to 8pm. I started to volunteer when I was in high school I came back multiple times to volunteer because I believe in helping people to help themselves at hard times. This is why I like Sarah's Circle, is because it provides women with a way to help them fight homelessness while simultaneously helping them with their basic needs for the moment. Sarah's circle has social workers assigned to its clients so that the clients can look for affordable homes and jobs while simultaneously providing basic things like showers, laundry, breakfast, lunch, dinner as well as computer and phone. Sarah's Circle is great if you would like to volunteer but need a flexible schedule plus you can help out using whatever talent you have! For me, Sarah's Circle has helped me grow as a person as I have seen some of the harshness of life but also how much people care for each other. The staff at Sarah's Circle is always welcoming even in a long day. It is definitely a place I would recommend to others looking towards volunteering.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Sarah's Circle holds a special place in my heart. As a student of social work and a volunteer, I learned a lot at this agency. When I think of my time there, I remember the women I met and interacted with and it is difficult to describe in words what the impact of spending time with them was like for me. All I can hope for is for SC to continue to thrive and for the women SC serves to keep shining, because their spirit is what illuminated mine.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I decided to intern here after meeting some of the staff and seeing the atmosphere at Sarah's Circle. The clients, staff, and volunteers care about one another, and it shows. I absolutely must recommend this place for anyone who wants to help empower women and end homelessness. You really cannot find a more supportive organization both in the service they provide and in the personal relationships they develop.