Donate linens, cleaning supplies, or money to Deborah’s Place, an organization that provides the resources women need to recover from homelessness.
What: Because many women who come to Deborah’s Place don’t make an income, donations of basic household supplies allow the women to maintain a clean and comfortable home. They’re in need of towels, linens, toilet paper, paper towels, kitchen and bathroom cleaners, mops, brooms, and public transit fare cards. Monetary contributions will go towards services that help homeless women travel to their jobs, as well as helping them get apartments and furniture.
How: Donate over the phone by calling 773-638-6579, or by mail to 2822 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60612-3653. You can also make a donation online. Any questions should be directed to [email protected]
The organization: Since 1985, Deborah’s Place has grown to become Chicago’s largest provider of supportive housing exclusively for women and has been widely recognized as an innovative leader among homeless service providers. In 2011, the organization helped more than 400 women make progress toward their goals of obtaining stable housing, a sustainable income, and greater independence. Deborah’s Place offers a variety of services to homeless and low-income women, such as case management, counseling and therapeutic services, educational and employment services, health services, and programs that transition women into independent housing.
Many of the women at Deborah’s Place do not come from backgrounds of homelessness, and they find themselves on the street because of unexpected factors such as domestic violence or a disability that restricts their ability to work.
One client of Deborah’s Place, Angela, was a successful banker with a savings safety net before she lost everything in the financial crisis a few years ago.
“I wasn’t an addict. I didn’t have a disability. But I became homeless,” Angela says.
After hearing about Deborah’s Place, Angela applied for their services and was given support from Teresa’s Interim Housing Program and had access to the Learning Center to continue her job search. With a stable place to live and a support staff dedicated to helping her to achieve her goals, Angela found the environment she needed to find employment. She is now an office manager of an international infrastructure firm, and she has her own apartment.
Since her recovery from homelessness, Angela has sought to help other women who are facing the same situation she once found herself in.
“It isn’t about the material things,” she says. “It is about the impact you can make. For the rest of my life it is about giving back. Every day, I ask myself ‘what did you give back today?’”
Photo: From homeless to homeowner, Angela is here because of Deborah’s Place.