Make It Home Fund

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Helping Women Make It Home

Since the pilot became permanent, 54 more women have used Make It Home funds to secure a permanent home. The average amount needed per woman has increased from $331 to $382, and dozens of donors have pledged to support this fund. 


The Pilot

In the fall of 2014, case managers at Sarah’s Circle identified a need in their programs. Program participants often just barely missed opportunities for housing despite diligent budgeting and some funding from Sarah’s Circle for IDs, application fees, and household essentials.

Rare openings in affordable housing units had a brief window of opportunity during which the application fee, move-in fee, security deposit, and first month’s rent had to be paid before the housing provider moved on to the next potential resident. Despite having income for ongoing rent, women just didn’t have enough savings to cover the additional one-time costs needed to make it home.

In response to this need, Sarah’s Circle developed a pilot project to dedicate up to $500 per woman to help cover one-time costs associated with moving into a permanent home. During the pilot period, 17 women used the funds to cover the difference between their savings and the cost of making it home to a new apartment. The average woman needed just $331 to make the difference between continued homelessness and permanent housing. The additional support reduced the time spent homeless by those women and resulted in more women being housed overall, with a total of 114 women accessing housing in a 12-month period, significantly surpassing our goal of 100 women.

Be The Difference

Cherise was faced with the decision to spend her life savings on medical care or her monthly rent. It didn't take long for her savings to run out. 

You can be the difference for a woman in need by donating to Sarah's Circle Make It Home Fund. The gift you make today will go directly to a woman who will be able to access Sarah’s Circle’s Make It Home Fund and eliminate the final barrier between homelessness and her own place to live.

Cherise is one such woman who made it home as a result of our pilot program. Click the Read More button to read Cherise's story.

Ways to Help

Please visit our Ways to Help page to learn more about the many ways you can directly impact the women of Sarah’s Circle.


Sarah’s Circle is a refuge for women who are homeless or in need of a safe space. By providing life necessities, housing, case management, clinical and social services, we encourage women to empower themselves by rebuilding both emotionally and physically; realizing their unique potential.

Sarah's Circle

4838 N. Sheridan Road
Chicago, IL 60640
Phone: 773-728-1991

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