St. Leonard’s Ministries/Grace House believes individuals want to lead productive and whole lives and provides a setting in which men and women recently released from prison can achieve such a life. They provide residents with an array of program services designed to assist in the transition to successful, independent living. During their stay, St. Leonard’s/Grace House assist residents in reassessing value systems, reordering priorities and developing socially and legally acceptable patterns of behavior.
How can you help:
1) Real Talk — St. Leonard’s:
Join in a current events discussion with residents of a facility that provides interim housing and services for recently incarcerated men. The volunteer leader will pick the topic ahead of time, provide a handout with background on the subject and lead the session. You and other volunteers will round out the conversation by sharing your own unique perspectives. This program helps residents build important communication skills and re-acclimate to society by talking with volunteers who have had different experiences than their own.
Date: Fourth Tuesday of every month 5:45-7pm
Contact: Contact person for St. Leonard’s volunteering is Sister Sharon Bossier: (312)738-1414 or volunteer@slministries
2) Reception/Front Desk — St. Leonard’s:
Spend as little as a half day a week minding the front desk of the Barlow Center. Anyone over 18 is welcome.
Days needed: Monday (especially), Tuesday and Thursday
3) Teacher Assistant for High School Classroom — St. Leonard’s:
Teacher Assistant for High School Classroom — St. Leonard’s
Help facilitate small group discussions in their small, alternative high school program.
Days needed: Weekdays
Contact: Lynn Cunningham (312) 738-1414
4) Mentor — Grace House:
Once a woman has gotten on her feet, she needs a volunteer to mentor her while she finishes her time at Grace House and then finds independent housing. Best for adults.
Contact: Sharlyn Pech (312) 733-5363
Leonard’s House and the
Michael Barlow Center
2120 W. Warren Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60612
For more information, please contact Christ Church member Phil Adams at 847-256-4956, firstname.lastname@example.org or Nina Gray email@example.com , 847-903-2390. Or feel free to contact directly the program liaisons listed above.
Christ Church Comments:
Selected for support by Episcopal Charities, we have had a strong relationship with this organization for decades through benevolence grants, Christmas Angels, and parishioners serving on their Board of Directors. Our experience tells us that they will only ask for help that they really need and will follow through on the details to make your volunteer experience worthwhile and memorable.
Christ Church Experiences:
Donate-A-Day Outing at St. Leonard’s Video
Carmen Wilcox (Grace House Mentor) “In May I began a mentoring relationship with a young woman at Grace House. I am happy to tell you both that it has been an amazing journey with her and I am blessed to be part of her reentry into a productive life. She has a very unique spirit and is a proud person. She lived at Grace House for a year, then in June got a job and an apartment – and Charlotte and Robin were very generous and donated many treasures from rummage for her apartment! She was most grateful and in awe of the gifts. She works 6 days a week, has been accepting overtime and all reports are she is an excellent motivated employee. I see her weekly and we stay in communication by phone, email and text. She knows I am there for her and we have developed a strong bond.”
This is Marketta Sims, a Grace House resident we met who has been a lifelong poet and had just appeared on WBEZ to read some of her most recent poetry. She is one of the residents who would like to have a mentor.
This is Grace House mentor, Carmen Wilcox, and her mentee, Lori.
This is Grace House with Carmen Wilcox and soon-to-be new mentor, Charlotte Robertson, standing in front. It used to be a drug kingpin’s house. As Holly Christian, Grace House’s Director, says, it has gone from a place where lives are destroyed to a place where lives are saved!