Grace House’s Legacy in Chicago

Adapted from Google Maps |

Morgan Greene writes in the Chicago Tribune:

On a cold, bright afternoon, just a few blocks from the United Center, a group of actors gather in the sunroom of an unassuming brick building. Aside from the occasional question, or sniffle, they’re uncharacteristically silent. Soon, they’ll act out the story of a Chicago woman who was recently released from prison. Today, the staff and residents of Grace House, a place where formerly incarcerated women rebuild their lives, have welcomed the cast of playwright Boo Killebrew’s world-premiere play “Lettie” into their home.

The silence comes from the attention paid to the residents as they tell their stories. Between the nuances of each narrative, there’s a common thread: Grace House is a lifeline.

“When I walked in these doors, it was like a home to me,” Angela, a resident at Grace House, tells the cast. “I hadn’t had that in a really long time.”

Grace House is part of a transitional housing program offered through St. Leonard’s Ministries, a health and social service agency founded in 1954 by Father James Jones, the Episcopal chaplain at the Cook County Jail. In 2017, Grace House provided 35 women with housing, food, clothing and support services. Of those, 19 found and maintained employment, 14 found and secured permanent housing and 4 earned their high school diplomas.

Related: St. Leonard’s Ministries


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