About Us

Sister José Women’s Center is dedicated to the care of women experiencing homelessness 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 women who are unhoused 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 our organization. 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 woman experiencing homelessness has a safe harbor and a path to a sustainable existence.

Our Mission

Sister José Women’s Center is dedicated to the care of women experiencing homelessness 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

The Night Program

Every night, our facility houses forty-two women and offers them a home-cooked meal. Night program services allow guests the relief to sleep soundly at night knowing they are in a safe environment. We are pleased to announce the expansion of our facilities, which will house an additional fifteen women. Every stay plants the seed for women to believe in the possibility of a sustainable future.

The Day Program

Sister José Women’s Center operates a low-barrier daytime drop-in center that provides safe spaces for all guests. We provide breakfast and lunch for women who would otherwise have no access to nutritious meals. When guests enter our facilities, they are welcomed with open arms from staff and volunteers. Our program offers vital products that are basic necessities of life:

  • Safety for women in a pet friendly center
  • Breakfast and sack lunches from Caridad Community Kitchen
  • Hot showers and personal hygiene products
  • Free clothing, shoes, socks, and new underwear
  • Laundry facilities
  • Visiting outreach and local agencies
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Leisure activities

Together We Make an Impact

We receive 60% of our support from individuals like you.



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

Overnight Program


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


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


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

Meet Our Board and Staff

Board of Directors

Shelley Watson, Southern Arizona Leadership Council

Vice President:
Gwen Gallegos, Community Member

Tracy A. Scholz, PNC Bank

Aida Samuel, The Offshore Group

Board Members:
Rob Burris, Burris & MacOmber, PLLC
Msgr. Tom Cahalane, Community Member
Isabel Georgelos, YWCA
Mark Mistler, Community Member
Treth Sanchez, Thomlinson Financial Group
Diana Sheldon, Diana Sheldon Non Profit Consulting
Cristie Street, Nextrio
Steve Tofel, Community Member


Jean Fedigan
Founder / Chief Mission Officer

Emily Bridson
Donor Engagement Manager

Penny Buckley
Director of Grants and Program Evaluation

Brenda Druke
Volunteer and Administrative Coordinator

Nicola Hartmann

Laura Lynn
Program Director

Peggy Stefanski Brown
Administrative Assistant

Community and Friends

We are proud to work in partnership with many civil and faith-based groups, social services and other friends in Tucson’s generous and open-hearted community. 

CARIDAD Community Kitchen

Catholic Diocese of Tucson

Center for Spiritual Living

Compass Affordable Housing

COPE Community Services

Easterseals Blake Foundation

El Rio Health Center

Franciscan Ministries

Grace St. Paul Episcopal Church


The H.S. Lopez Family Foundation

Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona

Kol Ami Synagogue

Lutheran Church of the Foothills

Pima County Library Book Bike

Portable, Practical Educational Preparation (PPEP​)

St. Vincent de Paul

Salpointe High School

Southwest Institute for Research on Women (SIROW)

State Employees Charitable Campaign (SECC)

Tucson-Pima Collaboration to End Homelessness (TPCH)

Veterans First

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