St. Leonard's Ministries
St. Leonard’s Ministries
2100 W. Warren Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60612
Believing individuals want to lead productive and whole lives, St. Leonard’s Ministries provides a setting in which men and women recently released from prison can achieve such a life. Residents are provided with an array of reentry program and employment services designed to assist them as they make the transition to successful independent living. During their stay at St. Leonard’s House, Grace House and St. Andrew’s Court and their engagement with the Michael Barlow Center, program participants are helped to reassess value systems, to reorder priorities and to develop socially and legally acceptable patterns of behavior.
St. Leonard's Ministries, located at the corner of Hoyne and Warren Boulevard, is in its 54th year of service provision to formerly incarcerated men and women. Father James Jones, Episcopal Chaplain to what was then known as the Bridewell City Jail, opened St. Leonard’s House to care for men who left the jail with no resources to begin the rebuilding of their lives. Although the scope of the work carried out through St. Leonard’s has grown and developed through the years, its mission of providing comprehensive assistance to homeless, formerly incarcerated men and women has remained constant. As 2000 arrived with the dawning of a New Century, St. Leonard’s House became St. Leonard’s Ministries, an umbrella organization which currently sponsors four distinct programs:
St. Leonard’s House
opened its doors to ex-offenders in the mid-1950s. Since that time, untold numbers of formerly incarcerated men have availed themselves of services provided at the House. These services have consistently been directed to providing answers to the pressing problems facing individuals who leave prison with no means to start over again with their lives. Currently, approximately 200 men come through the doors of St. Leonard’s House each year.
was opened in 1994 to provide services for women leaving Illinois prisons with nowhere to turn for assistance. Grace House, located in newly renovated facilities at 1801 W. Adams, provides a residential setting and comprehensive case management for formerly incarcerated women; annually, approximately 50 women come through the doors of Grace House. Comprehensive case management services are provided with a special emphasis on regaining parental rights and custody of children.
St. Andrew’s Court
opened late in 1998, provides second-stage housing and accompanying supportive services to men who have successfully completed the St. Leonard’s House program. St. Andrew’s Court was developed by St. Leonard’s House and the Lakefront SRO Corporation with major funding from Chicago's Department of Housing and the Illinois Housing Development Authority. Forty-two units of single-room-occupancy living space are available; a comprehensive program of supportive services is provided to ensure that residents’ transition to independent living continues to be a successful and positive experience for them. St. Andrew’s Court staff members work closely with the staff of St. Leonard’s House and other community social service providers to ensure the continued successful transitions of SAC residents.
Michael Barlow Employment Center
opened in 2005, provides comprehensive and varied program services designed to assist formerly incarcerated men and women as they prepare for, find and retain suitable employment. In addition to a Job Developer and a Retention Counselor, the Center has a state-of-the-art computer Lab and provides specific skills training classes in the areas of Food Service Preparation and Building Maintenance. A pre-employment series of seminars related to resume writing, the job search and workplace expectations serve as a foundation to the Center's activities.
Service provision at all of the St. Leonard’s Ministries programs is based on a comprehensive and aggressive program of case management. Case Workers and Program Participants create individualized service plans which provide the needed components for an individual’s successful return to society. Case management issues are typically related to the following concerns:
- substance abuse: 90% of those exiting IL prisons have a lingering substance abuse problem that must be overcome for gaining independence;
- psychological services: 42% of the SLM program participants have major mental health issues to be addressed; these concerns are addressed in collaboration with the Adler School of Professional Psychology;
- medical referrals: 25% of the men and women who come to Grace House or St. Leonard’s House are in need of medical attention;
- employment: 100% of program participants are looking for work; most have spotty and/or inadequate job histories;
- education: 50% of program participants are in need of educational assistance if they are to obtain suitable employment;
- family reunification: most families have separated themselves from SLM program participants and reconnecting is problematic;
- adjustment to non-institutionalized living: it isn’t easy to return to a society that doesn’t want you and one for which you may have been ill prepared.
The following broader-based components are part of the opportunities provided to residents of St. Leonard’s House, Grace House and St. Andrew’s Court: educational guidance and programming including a high school completion program and linkages with educational resources throughout Chicago;
- post-program housing: assistance with planning for exiting SLM programs to ensure that suitable housing arrangements are identified;
- aftercare: guidance and assistance with a wide variety of concerns that face individuals once they are living independently;
- volunteer involvement: presence of members of the wider community to which program participants will return helps program participants adjust to life in the community.
Sister Mary Dolan, Administrator of Grace House: 312/733-5363
Bob Dougherty, SLM Executive Director: 312/738-1414 (x 13)
Theodore Johnson-Bey, St. Leonard’s House Intake Coordinator: 312/738-2424 (x 24)
David Rosa, Administrator of St. Andrew’s Court: 312/226-7620
Jim Zangs, Director of the Michael Barlow Center: 312/226-6270 (x 11)
Posted in Friends of the West Haven Community