Women’s Stories

We’ve supported over 4,000 women on their journeys out of homelessness. Each woman’s story is unique. Meet some of the remarkable residents and alumnae of Deborah’s Place.

Achieving goals: Trudy’s story

I never thought in a million years that I would be homeless. I was just living my life. I had a good job for 25 years. I retired and ended up caring for my ailing mother. After suffering a heart attack, my health deteriorated. I couldn’t work, couldn’t afford anywhere to live and didn’t know […]

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Inspiration to Give Back: Lisa’s Story

Lisa often volunteers to lead tours of her home in the Rebecca Johnson Apartments for visitors. When you look at the walls of her apartment, she’ll proudly point out the certificates on her wall that represent her education: her GED, her certificate in computer skills. She knows she’s come a long way since she moved […]

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From Chaos to Community: Renee’s Story

Faced with the loss of a stable job and the onset of depression, Renee didn’t know where to turn. She felt she’d lost everything: her apartment, her job, a beloved relative who passed away from breast cancer. Her volunteer work at Marillac House led her to a new home at Deborah’s Place. “I was kind […]

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The Structure of Success: Tahira’s Story

Tahira endured an abusive relationship and homelessness before she found Teresa’s Interim Housing Program. The program’s structure gave her the resources she needed to recover from trauma and find a permanent home.

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All the Skills You Need: Desiree’s Story

Desiree came to Teresa’s Interim Housing Program after a personal crisis and a period of depression left her without a job or a permanent home. Despite more than 20 years of experience in nursing, she struggled to find employment without stable housing. Resources like the Learning Center helped Desiree to renew her Licensed Practical Nurse […]

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“I Can Stay Here”: Khadijah’s Story

For months, Khadijah spent the night on CTA Blue Line trains: she says “it’s the safest line where I can sleep from beginning to end.” She sought out safety in her routine after losing her job and her housing. She found that shelters were uncomfortable, unsafe, or just unavailable. Now she has stable housing and a community she can trust.

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32 Years Without a Home: Michelle’s Story

Stock image used to protect privacy

Michelle was in 102 foster and group homes before she aged out of the system. She found refuge at young adult shelter for a period of time before it closed. Before your generosity provided her a home at Deborah’s Place, she was homeless for 32 years: her entire adult life.

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Blessings She Never Knew: Sharon’s Story

“I don’t let my past dictate my future,” Sharon says. “I don’t care who knows about my past. Just as long as I don’t forget it. How bad it was.” Sharon was homeless for 30 years before she came to Deborah’s Place. In addition to the trauma of homelessness, Sharon endured the trauma of abuse, addiction, prostitution and prison.

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