Since 1861, the Daughters of Charity have served Chicago’s poor, and in 2001 deepened this commitment by starting St. Joseph Services. The goal was to develop an outreach ministry that worked in partnership with area parishes and community non-profits to serve and support families and individuals in need. SJS partners with students to strengthen and develop their skills to move from a position of poverty and assistance to one of economic, spiritual, and social self-sufficiency.
In November 2001, SJS partnered with St. Mark's Catholic Church to transform their former convent into an outreach center to serve the primarily Latino Humboldt Park/West Town neighborhood. At the same time, St. Joseph Services began a partnership with the LaSallian Christian Brothers who were opening the San Miguel School-Gary Comer Campus, an inner-city school in the Austin community. San Miguel provided vulnerable children with innovative and accessible education.
In late 2005, SJS opened the after school program called “Quiet Place’ at Casa de Providencia in Humboldt Park and the AAA Community Center located within the San Miguel School in Austin. The AAA Community Center provided after school and year-round programs for community youth, adult education classes, and an open gym on Sundays.
Today, St. Joseph Services has honed its focus to educational programming, with a core value to collaborate, sharing space with other not-for-profits and focusing on community development and effective programming with local partners. SJS’s main collaborators for this program, which serves students daily, are St. Angela’s School serving the Austin community and St. Aloysius Parish and local CPS and Charter schools serving the Humboldt Park/West Town community.
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