UPTOWN — An organization that shelters homeless women in Uptown plans to remodel its offices to accommodate an interim housing program.
Sarah’s Circle operates a 50-bed overnight shelter in the basement of Uptown Baptist Church that the organization plans to move to a renovated space on the second floor of the Institute for Cultural Affairs building, 4750 N. Sheridan Rd., according to executive director Katherine Kranger.
The women in the shelter are clients of the organization's interim housing program, which would be consolidated at the ICA building — if the Chicago Zoning Board of Appeals approves Sarah's Circle's application for a special use permit at its meeting on Friday.
"It will be a much better program for the ladies," Ragner said, estimating that the renovation would cost about $120,000 and be completed by late summer.
Currently, women in the program stay overnight and have to leave the church, 1011 W. Wilson Ave., by 8 a.m., and travel with their belongings to the ICA building (also known as the 4750 GreenSpan building) where they receive meals, counseling and other services from Sarah's Circle.
Ald. James Cappleman (46th) supports Sarah's Circle's request.
"He's been very supportive. Because he has been here and knows Sarah's Circle, and he understands what we are trying to do," Kranger said. "It's not a new program, it's not an expansion, it's just putting our own capitol into renovating the facility to make it better."
Cappleman’s chief of staff Tressa Feher said in a statement from the 46th Ward that the alderman “has a long standing relationship with Sarah's Circle and holds them up as a model for homeless services.”
Chicago's new “plan to end homelessness,” discourages shelter programs from providing services without 24-hour wraparound services for clients on site, and Feher said the organization follows the city's advice.
Sarah's Circle is also adding a new facility this summer at 4836 N. Sheridan Rd. that will include administrative offices and 10 apartments of permanent housing for people with a history of homelessness.