About Us
Sister José Women’s Center (SJWC) is dedicated to the care and nurture of homeless women in a welcoming and safe environment. For many Tucson women experiencing homelessness, we are their only safe haven and the first step to recovery from homelessness. We are a Tucson-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2009. Our low-barrier day center provides unaccompanied homeless women with a stable and safe environment to recuperate from the daily struggle of homelessness and extreme poverty. The Winter Night Program provides overnight stays for women who would otherwise be sleeping outside; we provided 7171 overnights last winter. All of this was accomplished through the dedication and hard work of volunteers and university interns – they are the heartbeat of SJWC. We are more than a center; we are a community built upon the values of compassion, dignity and respect in a non-institutionalized setting. For many of our guests we are home.

Our Vision

A community where every homeless woman has a safe harbor and a path to a sustainable existence.

Our Mission

Sister José Women’s Center is dedicated to the care and nurture of homeless women in a welcoming and safe environment.

We Value

• each person’s unique gifts
• the beauty in each person
• the connection among women
• meeting each person where they are

Our Programs

A Safe Place for Women Night Program

Each night our program offers 38 women a hot home-cooked meal and a safe space to sleep. We provide over 7,000 safe overnights each year to homeless women who would otherwise sleep outdoors. Staff and volunteers cook and spend the night supervising the program. Safety and support from staff, volunteers, and each other help women come to believe in their own value as unique human beings who can take the next step forward out of homelessness. SJWC offers women an extended stay in the overnight program so they have the stability from which to do the hard work of moving to a self-sufficient life.

Sisters Helping Sisters Day Program

Sister José Women’s Center (SJWC) operates a low-demand daytime drop-in center that provides provides three meals a day, showers, laundry, clothing, shoes, and personal hygiene products for homeless women. The need for daytime services continues to grow: guest visits average 1200+ each month. It takes more than 1700 volunteer hours each month to keep our services available to women in need. SJWC is a hub of vitally needed services, we provide free space for outside agencies to be where homeless women gather in a warm and supportive community.

Day Program Offerings

• Safety for women in a pet-friendly center
• Breakfast and lunch
• Sack lunches from Caridad Community Kitchen
• Hot showers and personal hygiene
• Free clothing and shoes
• New underwear and socks
• Laundry facilities
• Visiting Outreach from local agencies
• Free Wi-Fi
• Leisure activities

Moving Forward Program

Guests who stay in our overnight program are provided with on-site case managers in our Moving Forward Program. It is a two-tiered case management process that prepares women to overcome barriers, navigate social services, and enter the rental or job market. Guests complete two classes: Housing Readiness and Coping Skills for Congregate Living. Case management liaises with outside agencies on behalf of guests. Moving Forward provides funds for rental application deposits, or 1st month’s rent. 70% who leave Moving Forward move into improved circumstances. Every stay plants the seed for women to come to believe in the possibility of an improved life and their capacity to achieve it.

Moving Forward

100% of program participants complete HUD’s assessment for housing assistance

90% replace their AZ photo ID and Social Security card

90% apply or renew their food and healthcare benefits

90% who need pre-employment work adjustment will complete an intake with an employment program

What Our Amazing Community Did in 2021

SJWC receives 70% of our support from individuals like you. Together we help women.

Nutrition

Nutrition

26,218 Meals
26,218 breakfasts, hot lunches, and dinners. Nutritious meals are vital to help keep our guests healthy and comfortable.
Overnight Program

Overnights

7,171 Stays
7,171 overnight stays by otherwise unsheltered women. Our Expansion Project will help increase this number!

Days

14,357 Visits
14,357 visits to our Day Program where guests can shower, do laundry, and meet with community resource representatives.

Housing

38 Women
​Together, our community helped 38 women improve their housing situation in 2021!
 

Meet Our Board and Staff

Board of Directors

Board President:
Rob Burris – Burris & MacOmber, PLLC

Vice President:
Shelley Watson – Southern Arizona Leadership Council

Board Members:
Msgr. Tom Cahalane – Board Chaplain
Cynthia McDaniel – West Coast Roofing M.
Gwen Gallegos – El Rio Community Health Center
Isabel Georgelos – Georgelos Group
Liz Pocock – Startup Tucson
Aida Samuel – The Offshore Group
Tracy Scholz – BBVA Compass Bank
Diana Sheldon – Diana Sheldon Non Profit Consulting
Steve Tofel – Community Member

Staff:

Jean Fedigan, CEO
Penny Buckley, Program Director
Brenda Druke, Development Associate
Nicola Hartmann, Chief Operations Officer
Laura Lynn, Volunteer Director
Peggy Stefanski Brown, Administrative Assistant

Advisory Council

Len Kronman
Rabbi Thomas Louchheim
Mark Mistler
Jill Rich
Gabriela Rico
G. Lawrence Schubart

Community and Friends

We are proud to work in partnership with many civil and faith-based groups, social services dedicated to the help and support of homeless individuals, and other friends in Tucson’s generous and open-hearted community.
  • CARIDAD Community Kitchens
  • Catholic Diocese of Tucson
  • Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona
  • CARIDAD Community Kitchen
  • Grace St. Paul Episcopal Church
  • Tucson-Pima Collaboration to End Homelessness (TPCH)
  • ​Easterseals Blake Foundation
  • Compass Affordable Housing
  • Veterans First
  • Congregation Or Chadash
  • St. Vincent de Paul
  • Salpointe High School
  • Southwest Institute for Research on Women (SIROW)
  • Franciscan Ministries
  • Center for Spiritual Living
  • ​PPEP​
  • El Rio Health Center
  • Pima County Library Book Bike
  • Temple Emanuel
  • HOPE
  • COPE
Logo: State Employees Charitable Campaign - State of Arizona

Sister José Hobday (1929-2009)

Our Center is named in honor of Sister José Hobday, a Franciscan nun who dedicated her life to helping the poor. Sr. José was one of America’s most popular speakers on prayer and spirituality during her lifetime. Her enthusiasm for the presence of God in the ordinary was truly contagious. Her stories drawn from her own experience growing up as a Native American Catholic in the American Southwest, eloquently communicate her relationship with and commitment to God, family and community.

Sr. José had a passionate love for the poor and those on the margins of life. She was a close friend of Dorothy Day and Ceasar Chavez and followed the Gospel way of St. Francis and St. Clare. Sr. José lived the final years of her life in Tucson. The Women’s Center is dedicated to her memory and to the spirit of her life. May all who seek shelter here be touched and embraced through the gift of her mystical prayer and through her Lord and Savior who came not to be served but to serve, and to lay down his life as a ransom for the many.

~ Msgr. Tom Cahalane, Board Member

Sister José Hobday

Contact Us
 

Sister José Women’s Center

Phone: 520-909-3905
Email: admin@sisterjose.org
Street Address: 1050 S Park Ave, Tucson, AZ 85719

To Donate by Mail
Donations and other professional correspondence should be sent to:
P.O. Box 1028, Tucson, AZ 85702

Guest Mail
To send mail to a guest, please use our street address:
1050 S Park Ave, Tucson, AZ 85719

Email Our Staff

Jean Fedigan, CEO
Penny Buckley, Program Director
Brenda Druke, Development Associate
Nicola Hartmann, Chief Operations Officer
Laura Lynn, Volunteer Director
Peggy Stefanski Brown, Administrative Assistant

Tax Information

Tax ID: 46-1290517
AZ Qualifying Charitable Organization: 20826

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Sister José Women’s Center does not require identification or other documentation for use of our services.
Sister José Women’s Center will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, gender identity or expression, religion, creed, age, ancestry, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, or military status.

Copyright © Sister José Women’s Center. All Rights Reserved.
520-909-3905