Saint Leonard’s empowers formerly incarcerated men and women to lead whole and productive lives.
Why Saint Leonard’s?
Because Saint Leonard’s Ministries has successfully kept people out of prisons since 1954! The recidivism rate in Illinois is nearly 50% for men and 38% for women. Participants in Saint Leonard’s Ministries recidivism rate is slashed to an incredible 16% for men and 5% for women.
At Saint Leonard’s, participants have access to the variety of services needed for successful reentry. Participants have access to safe housing, basic needs, life skills training, behavioral and physical health care, and workforce development training all on one campus. Saint Leonard’s is proud that many staff members have experienced incarceration and share life experiences with those we serve, allowing deeper connection.
Saint Leonard’s Ministries does not charge for any services. Residents and program participants can focus on healing and their return to our communities.
“Saint Leonard’s believed in me. They gave me a second chance.“
– Marcus, Saint Leonard’s House Alum
Who We Serve
Saint Leonard’s serves formerly incarcerated community members largely from the South and West Side of Chicago. The majority of participants identify as people of color, have multiple arrests and incarcerations, and have faced homelessness. Approximately 75% of participants come to Saint Leonard’s with substance use challenges and over 30% have a mental illness.
Returning citizens experience overwhelming challenges as they return to society. Saint Leonard’s addresses needs that were unaddressed or under addressed in prison while providing comprehensive services to facilitate successfully returning to our communities.
“Saint Leonard’s is my world, my rock. Their people are always giving me a helping hand, and have something positive to offer.“
– Kip, Barlow Center Alum
1. Everybody matters
Everybody is somebody. The past does not define any person’s worth. We believe in people before they believe in themselves, carrying their love, hope, and respect until they can carry it.
2. Love heals
Everyone is worthy of love and love makes life worth living. Our love may look like listening, patience, taking time, and doing small things to help.
3. Hope motivates
Every decision is an opportunity. If you have breath in your lungs, there is a chance for change. We kindle the spark of hope.
4. Respect empowers
Everyone is cut from the same cloth with inherent dignity and humanity. We are all individuals and deserve to be treated as such. Receiving respect helps us respect ourselves.
5. Dedication rewards
Every polite step taken brings a reward. Milestones matter and are celebrated. We encourage our residents to achieve all that they can; they determine their goals.
“I am worthy. And I am respected today … and I deserve a second chance.”
– Carla, Grace House Alum
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) Policy
Saint Leonard’s Ministries is committed to fostering, cultivating and preserving a culture of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (DEIB). This is integrated throughout all aspects of the organization in intentional, impactful, and measurable ways. Saint Leonard’s must advocate internally and externally for DEIB and against oppression.
Saint Leonard’s Ministries DEIB applies to all our employees and collaborators but is not limited to them: we apply the same values and respect when engaging with our community members, partners, and stakeholders. As such this policy works in alignment with our DEIB Action Plan. At Saint Leonard’s Ministries, we believe that a diverse and inclusive workforce is vital to the future of sustainable growth.
We embrace and encourage our employees’ differences in all aspects, including but not limited to, race, color, national origin, cultural background, age, gender, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, languages, physical and mental ability, political affiliation, religion, sexual orientation, parental status, marital status, educational levels, socio-economic status, military or veteran status, and other characteristics that make our employees unique.
We are committed to making sure that potential, future and current Saint Leonard’s Ministries employees and community members are guaranteed equal opportunities and fair treatment regardless of their background. Everyone must feel safe, valued, respected, and have a sense of belonging, and know that their voice will be heard.
Definition of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB)
At Saint Leonard’s Ministries we recognize that DEIB is the cultural foundation that enables everyone to embrace and unleash their full potential without fear of criticism.
- Diversity is a fact – We recognize that every one of us brings their unique self and skills to our space which is why we want our workplace to be societally representative. We believe that true diversity captures people’s different identities, backgrounds, and lived experiences.
- Equity is a process – We want to be a part of the solution and break down barriers that may have prevented some people from receiving fair treatment and equal opportunities in the past. Equity is about fairness and justice, and it is discernible by acknowledging that not all people are the same due to historical or systemic bias.
- Inclusion is a behavior – We want everyone to create and maintain an environment where all are included, and that they feel understood, respected and heard.
- Belonging is a freedom to be your true self – We want everyone to feel like they belong to the Saint Leonard’s Ministries community, and they are valued for who they are.
Principles of Behavior:
The following principles are intended to promote diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging as a matter of fairness, dignity and respect within the Saint Leonard’s community: At Saint Leonard’s Ministries we promise to:
- Lead with respect and tolerance to encourage all employees and demonstrate a strong commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.
- Commit to encouraging people to develop their unique talents to uplift their individual potential and to open the door to everyone to have a tangible impact in our organization.
- Ensure that all programs, recruitment processes, polices and services do promote fairness and equal treatment for all. This can be achieved by applying principles of equity and social justice to achieve equal opportunities for qualified individuals of all backgrounds.
- Incorporate DEIB principles into the design and execution of all programs and services, including helping community members to understand the importance of DEIB in their lives and relationships.
- Commit to strengthen education around equity to prevent unconscious bias and other forms of silent discrimination.
- Commit to use of language that is people-centered and inclusive.
- Encourage employees to value and respect cultures and experiences that are different from their own.
- Provide an environment safe from harassment and discrimination for all employees to voice their opinion and to report misconduct.
- Invest in initiatives aimed at creating a workplace culture that prioritizes employee well-being, dignity, respect, collaboration and trust.
- To be strategic and intentional in formalizing and pursuing meaningful diversity goals and measures as central aspects of governance, training, operations, and strategies.
- Regularly review of all employment and program policies, practices and procedures so that fairness is always upheld. KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and potential targets are identified, monitored, and reported on a regular basis according to the DEIB Action Plan.
- To advance operational effectiveness by encouraging voluntary diversity practices that have shown potential to enhance performance – including:
- Diversity plans to help the organization design specific and concrete steps to expand representation and engagement from diverse communities.
- Building peer networks to help individuals and organizations to achieve diversity.
- Periodic assessment and tracking progress, communicating accomplishments and sharing lessons learned to enhance transparency and accountability.
- Publicly promoting the benefits of diversity and identifying new strategies that lead to greater effectiveness.
Questions about the Policy:
Questions regarding this policy should be submitted to the Human Resource Department.