New relationship preserves critical housing options for homeless women in Seattle and positions Jubilee to expand services to more low-income women.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 1, 2014
SEATTLE — Jubilee Women’s Center and the Sisters of Providence today announced that Jubilee, which provides community housing and support services for 33 single homeless and low-income women, will assume ownership of Sojourner Place, a 10-bed residence and transitional living program founded by the Sisters of Providence for single women and pregnant women who are homeless.
The Sisters of Providence will officially gift the Sojourner Place University District premises and program to Jubilee Women’s Center on October 25, 2014. Sojourner Place will retain its name, but will become part of Jubilee Women’s Center, which operates two residences in north Capitol Hill that last year housed and supported a total of 53 women, and served nearly 1300 others with referral services, educational programs, a computer lab and a free clothing boutique.
“We are pleased to welcome Sojourner Place to the Jubilee Women’s Center community as part of a long-term strategy to help more low-income women access housing and support services,” said Cheryl Sesnon, executive director of Jubilee Women’s Center. “The partnership unites two organizations already aligned in mission, values and programs, offering a combination of holistic support services and community-oriented residences that fills a critical need in Seattle.”
“The partnership also creates synergies that allow us to reduce operational costs so we can direct more resources to expanding and deepening services to the growing number of women experiencing homelessness and poverty in the Seattle area,” said Sesnon.
In 2013 the Sisters of Providence and the Providence Pariseau board of directors—the sponsors of Sojourner Place—began their search for a partner who could continue the Sojourner Place ministry and approached Jubilee Women’s Center. Over several months they constructed an agreement that would preserve Sojourner’s housing and support services for low-income women and allow the Sisters of Providence to transition their ministry to an organization positioned for growth.
“The Sisters of Providence are excited to find an excellent partner in Jubilee Women’s Center,” said Judith Desmarais, SP, Provincial Superior, Sisters of Providence, Mother Joseph Province. “We feel strongly that the Jubilee Women’s Center’s board of directors and its executive director Cheryl Sesnon will provide the thoughtful leadership to make this collaboration a success—ensuring that this beloved ministry of the Sisters of Providence will continue to benefit homeless women in the Seattle area for years to come.”
Some Providence Pariseau board members, who oversaw Sojourner Place, and at least one Sister of Providence will become part of Jubilee Women’s Center board of directors, and others will provide volunteer services.
Sesnon will make the first general public announcement about Sojourner Place at Jubilee Women’s Center’s 17th Annual Benefit Breakfast on October 2. (Event details below.)
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About Jubilee Women’s Center
Since 1983, Jubilee Women’s Center has provided safe, affordable and supportive community housing in Seattle. The mission of Jubilee is to support women experiencing poverty to build stable and fulfilling futures, one extraordinary woman at a time. Led by the guiding principle that all women deserve respect and dignity, Jubilee’s programs and services help women transition from trauma and economic crisis to independent living. Last year 53 women received housing and one-on-one support to help them rebuild their lives. In addition, Jubilee served nearly 1,300 low-income women with technology training, life skills and job readiness classes, individualized community referrals, an open computer lab, and a free clothing boutique. For more information about Jubilee Women’s Center, please visit jwcenter.org.
About Sisters of Providence
Sisters of Providence are Catholic women religious who respond to the needs of the poor and vulnerable through education, parish ministry, health care, community service and support, housing, prison ministry, pastoral care, spiritual direction and retreats, and foreign missions. Mother Joseph Province encompasses Alaska, Oregon, California, Idaho, Montana, Washington, El Salvador and the Philippines. For more information, please visit the Sisters of Providence website, www.sistersofprovidence.net.
About Sojourner Place
Sojourner Place was founded in 1987 as a ministry of the Sisters of Providence to provide transitional housing and programs to Seattle-area women in poverty, including homeless pregnant women. The 10-bed residence, located in the University District, is named for Sojourner Truth, a prominent and powerful speaker in women’s rights and the movement to abolish slavery in the mid-1800s. Sojourner Place served 44 women and nine children in 2012 and 26 women and six children in 2013. In addition to housing and food, these women were offered comprehensive assistance and access to resources, including care management, advocacy and referral services, life skills/parenting classes like money management, counseling, and reunification efforts for mothers with children in foster care. Sojourner Place also provides continuing support to its alumnae.
Jubilee Event Details
What: Jubilee Women’s Center 17th Annual Benefit Breakfast
When: Thursday, October 2, 7:30-8:45 am (registration opens at 7 am)
Where: Sheraton Seattle Hotel, 1400 Sixth Avenue
Local media celebrity Meeghan Black will emcee the 17th Annual Benefit Breakfast—the organization’s primary annual fundraiser drawing nearly 600 supporters. The event’s theme, “My Journey, My Community,” celebrates the transformative journeys and supportive community of Jubilee residents as they move out of homelessness and poverty into stable and fulfilling futures. Current and previous Jubilee residents will share their stories and Executive Director Cheryl Sesnon will formally welcome Sojourner Place to the Jubilee Women’s Center community.
Anita Cech, Marketing Manager
Jubilee Women’s Center
Jennifer Roseman, Director, Communications & Development
Sisters of Providence