You Said It: There Is a Solution to Women’s Homelessness

Right now, more than 2,000 women in Chicago are without a home. Women face extreme challenges during homelessness including unsafe sleeping conditions, inadequate access (if at all) to sanitary bathroom and shower facilities, limited food, violence, poor medical care, and more. As a matter of fact, women experiencing homelessness are three times more likely to experience sexual assault than a man facing homelessness or a woman in the general population.

We at Sarah’s Circle believe that this problem is solvable. The solution? It’s simple — housing. Sarah’s Circle practices the Housing First Model. We believe that by helping women find safe and affordable housing first, with no barriers or preconditions, it sets a strong foundation for success. By providing the stability of a safe home to call her own, each woman can then focus on the items that led to her homelessness. Our team supports her with case management and supportive services.

Unfortunately, Chicago and communities across our country are facing a housing affordability crisis. Per the National Low Income Housing Coalition, no state has an adequate supply of affordable rental housing for the lowest income renters. They note that in Illinois, there are only 31-40 affordable and available rental homes per 100 extremely low-income renter households.

Sarah’s Circle is implementing solutions. This September, we are breaking ground on a brand new facility that will include 38 permanent supportive housing units and an upgraded space for our Interim Housing Program (50 bed shelter). We are incredibly proud of this success, but know that it is not enough. That’s why we continue to seek more opportunities to create homes and provide supportive services to women experiencing homelessness in Chicago.

Sarah's Circle new facility
A rendering of Sarah’s Circle’s new facility, created by Perkins + Will.

Every winter, we welcome anyone to join us fundraising for our Winter Walk: Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event. This powerful gathering includes a mile long walk in Uptown in February, shared stories from the women we have served, and a celebratory lunch with key members of our community. This events helps spread awareness and raise the funds needed to help women make it home.

Sarah's Circle Winter Walk
Brock Thompson leads a group of Winter Walkers.

Want to participate? Sign up for Winter Walk email updates.