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.
A community where every woman experiencing homelessness has a safe harbor and a path to a sustainable existence.
Sister José Women’s Center is dedicated to the care of women experiencing homelessness in a welcoming and safe environment.
• each person’s unique gifts
• the beauty in each person
• the connection among women
• meeting each person where they are
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 breakfasts, hot lunches, and dinners. Nutritious meals are vital to help keep our guests healthy and comfortable.
7,171 overnight stays by otherwise unsheltered women. Our Expansion Project will help increase this number!
14,357 visits to our Day Program where guests can shower, do laundry, and meet with community resource representatives.
Meet Our Board and Staff
Board of Directors
Shelley Watson, Southern Arizona Leadership Council
Gwen Gallegos, Community Member
Tracy A. Scholz, PNC Bank
Aida Samuel, The Offshore Group
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
Founder / Chief Mission Officer
Donor Engagement Manager
Director of Grants and Program Evaluation
Volunteer and Administrative Coordinator
Peggy Stefanski Brown
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
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)
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
Read More About Sister José Hobday
By Kimberly Matas, Arizona Daily Star, April 15, 2009
Find Books by Sister José Hobday
Simple Living: The Path to Joy and Freedom (View on Amazon)