Our Programs

The causes of homelessness are complex. Women are especially vulnerable to factors like chronic poverty, a rapidly changing housing market, illness, and addiction. More than 12,000 women in Chicago will experience the devastating effects of homelessness this year.

We strive to provide housing that meets the unique needs of each woman we serve. Our programs are based on evidence and best practices. We offer compassionate, cost-effective service to people who have experienced the trauma of homelessness. Learn more about our approach.

Housing Programs at Deborah’s Place

Permanent supportive housing: This approach is designed to provide housing and supportive services on a long-term basis for people who have experienced homelessness. Many residents in permanent supportive housing also live with disabilities.

Interim housing: An interim housing program provides short-term housing with supportive services. These services focus on overcoming barriers to acquiring and maintaining permanent housing.

Safe Haven: A Safe Haven program provides semi-private housing for people who have experienced chronic homelessness and have a severe mental illness. Someone who is chronically homeless has consistently lived without housing for a year or more and/or they have experienced more than four episodes of homelessness within three years.

Our Program Models

Services at Deborah’s Place are based on decades of research and experience with homelessness. We adopt innovative approaches to improve results for those we serve.

Housing First: Providing people with a safe, secure place to live is the first step to addressing the root causes of their experience of homelessness. Housing First is the most effective approach for people who have experienced chronic homelessness. Housing is paired with case management and supportive services to promote housing stability and individual well-being. More information and research about Housing First is available at the National Alliance to End Homelessness site.

Harm reduction: We recognize that addiction is a disease, not a choice. Instead of expecting people to abstain from substance use in order to receive our services, we work with them to identify behavior changes so that their substance use has less risk for them and others. This nonjudgmental approach empowers people to make lasting changes in their lifestyle.

Trauma-informed services: Homelessness itself is traumatic. Women are especially vulnerable to related factors such as isolation, sexual violence, poverty, and poor health.  Our services focus on the power of relationships to help women recover from trauma. We build a caring, supportive community for women moving on from homelessness.