Casa Esperanza assists homeless women transition out of homeless shelters toward a more independent lifestyle. This project targets goal-oriented women who actively seek to improve their situations through education and/or job training.
This shared housing project serves as a bridge between shelter living and permanent housing while residents obtain the training necessary to help her become independent and maintain her own household. Residents function under the supervision of a skilled executive director and social worker as well as assistants, volunteers and a board of directors who remain invested in the success of the women of Casa Esperanza.
Casa Esperanza does more than provide housing. We provide holistic programming to promote growth, while helping women continue their journey of personal development. With skills-based training and support, we help our residents move toward self-sufficiency and independent living. At Casa Esperanza, we strive to:
- Offer safe, affordable housing for four to six families for a two year period
- Assist residents to locate and secure daycare for their children
- Identify impactful training and educational programs
- Engage women in their own process of growth through the program
- Provide opportunities to develop supportive relationships with one another as well as with personal mentors who will encourage and accompany women in their journeys.
Honoring the Individual
Casa Esperanza serves homeless women who actively seek opportunities to improve their living conditions through work, education or training. The executive director receives recommendations and referrals from shelters throughout Chicago, targeting clients who demonstrate a commitment to making progress towards a level of self-sufficiency, as well as a desire to make the most of our program. After interviewing potential residents to determine whether candidates are a good fit for the community, the director then conducts initial assessments. If admission is granted, residents are required to meet with the director for case management, where residents and the director work together to set goals and schedule monthly meetings, ensuring that the goals are being met and that the guidelines are being followed. Residents with children are also asked to provide children’s health records, ensuring they are up to date before moving in.
Criteria for Participation
Casa Esperanza residents are:
- Homeless women who have been recommended by transitional shelters, other programs or agencies
- Required to be in school, vocational training or employed
- Women who have a strong desire to change and a willingness to share the process with other women in the program
- Willing to contribute a fair share of income toward rent and food costs
- Ready to participate in personal development programs even if they are actively employed