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 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