On May 2nd, over 100 of our dedicated donors, volunteers and Board members, plus their guests who are new to our organization, gathered at the Murphy Auditorium to support the Deborah’s Place mission to end homelessness for women in Chicago.

This year’s theme, “We Are Deborah,” celebrated the many pieces of the mosaic that this mission requires. It takes all of us acting together, each in our own way, to open doors of opportunity. We heard stories from long-time volunteers and staff, who shared their observations and about the connections they’ve made through service. As Learning Center Coordinator Jean Durkin said, “some women need all our many arms to hold her”—and Jean would know, as she’s been with us and the women of Deborah’s Place for thirty-seven years.

Then, CEO Kathy Booton Wilson took to the stage to interview two of our residential program participants about their experiences: pre-Deborah’s Place, and what life has been like since. Mildred and Kay are both beloved members of our community, and they shared what it’s meant to them to be embraced and feel a part of the sisterhood of Deborah’s Place. At the Patty Crowley Apartments, Mildred now leads a weekly creative writing circle with her fellow residents, where all are welcome to express themselves and let their stories be heard. Stable housing and the support of staff like Jean have helped Mildred to accomplish her dream of being a writer, and you can buy her three books on Amazon. Kay, who has been at Deborah’s Place for twenty-three years, has seen staff and residents come and go, and forged strong connections with so many. Her presence in the Learning Center lights up the room, and she’s always quick with a joke and a smile for anyone who passes.

All of these stories inspired tremendous generosity from our community, making the night successful in its goal: together, we raised $100,430 to continue to fuel our mission. This funding is especially important with the opening of the Conservatory Apartments, as we welcome thirty-four new women into our fold, and continue to support our community among increasingly harsh financial and social circumstances.

We are incredibly grateful to each person whose work made this possible. Our speakers, our staff volunteers, our Board Members and leadership, and every donor who took the time to be a part of this event had a hand in its success. We hope you left feeling inspired to continue your role in the hard but important work of opening doors of opportunity for women here in Chicago.

Didn’t get the chance to be a part of the event? There’s never a bad time to give to our mission! Make a donation here.

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