We're Celebrating Clara Kirk and Clara's House!
In February, Clara's House will be 30 years old...and it's also Clara's Birthday month. Please help us celebrate both wonderful occasions! On February 25th, we'll be hosting a special event at Clara's house, 1650 West 62nd Street, Chicago, IL 60636, at 3:00 pm. Please plan to join us in making both "birthday's" special.
There is a desperate need in Englewood, a Chicago neighborhood that usually makes headlines for all the worst reasons. Beneath the well known crises of violence, joblessness and poverty, lies an often silent but equally critical devastating condition: in one month, nearly 60 homeless women with children tried to seek shelter at Clara's House.
Clara’s House has provided shelter for homeless women and their children since 1987. Founded by Mrs. Clara Kirk, a Mississippi native who moved to Englewood in 1974, working as a school bus driver. Along with the entire staff of the shelter, Mrs. Kirk is a full-time volunteer.
Clara’s House, along with a more permanent housing component, Clara’s Place, is run by the West Englewood United Organization, started by Mrs. Kirk after she discovered families living in abandoned structures without light, heat or hope in her own neighborhood.
The shelter provides the basic needs of life: safety and nutrition. But it also maintains certain disciplinary standards, such as chores, a prohibition on drinking and smoking, and a 9pm curfew. “The women here are learning to live,” says Kirk. “It’s not just a flophouse.” Walk-ins are not accepted for security reasons. Instead, only those referred by government agencies or social service organizations are permitted.
The focus is to empower women through education, healthcare and job skills with a goal of getting mothers on solid ground and able to provide a household within which their children can thrive upon leaving the shelter.
The organization has relied on donations and fundraisers from community members since 2007, when cuts in government funding left a huge gap in resources. Despite the shelter’s financial instability, Kirk, often called the “Mother of Englewood” , has no plans to abandon her post in the community. “All of us do not come from the same place, all of us didn’t get the same kind of teaching,” Kirk says. “But all of us are here together, and we must learn how to live together and help one another to live.”
We would like to thank everyone for their generous and ongoing support. This is invaluable for Clara’s House to continue its mission of providing shelter for battered women and children who are the innocent victims of domestic violence.
Clara's House helps Homeless and Battered Women with children from everywhere
Find out what Clara's House is all about...