“We will press forward with speed and urgency, for we have much to do in this winter of peril and possibility.” – President Joseph Biden, Inauguration Day

The words peril and possibility have resonated with me. Not only are they strong words that have defined the state of the world, but they have defined the experience of Deborah’s Place this past year.

While in the midst of peril due to COVID-19, we actively responded to and managed the impact of the pandemic on our residents and staff. Even as we were in crisis, we kept our eyes on the horizon and reached out to grasp new possibilities to drive our mission forward.  

One of those new possibilities is a new housing partnership called the Expedited Housing Initiative. Funded through the CARES Act, the Expedited Housing Initiative is a unique opportunity for the City of Chicago to work with housing providers to set an audacious goal of rapidly housing 2000+ people who are homeless over the next two years. Deborah’s Place is bringing on a team of six case managers who will work to assist 120 women with their transition from the streets and shelter to permanent housing with the goal of maintaining that housing long-term. 

Deborah’s Place will also house 20 additional women who are experiencing homelessness through our work with the Center for Housing and Health.

While we are continuously working hard to end homelessness for unaccompanied women, we must recognize the immense generosity that we have seen.

In President Biden’s inaugural address, he states, “There are some days when we need a hand.  There are other days when we’re called on to lend one. That is how we must be with one another.”

We are moved by the generosity of our residents as they share resources with each other during the pandemic. We are inspired by our staff who make certain that our programs and housing operate safely.

And we are grateful to you, our friends and donors, for lending a hand by sharing your resources, even if it was a sacrifice. You conducted food drives. You donated so we could purchase and provide PPE supplies. You made sure that all our residents had gifts during the holidays. Your commitment guaranteed we could continue our mission in 2021.

 Yours truly in hopes for a world of less peril and more possibility,  

Audrey Thomas, CEO