Our Impact

A disturbing new trend is emerging – many seniors are finding themselves without housing for the very first time. Increases in rent and inflation are creating circumstances that can’t be overcome on a fixed income.

Safety is non-existent on the streets. Danger lurks around every corner. It is common to have possessions stolen when sleeping. Our guests often lose everything, including clothes, identification, medications, and irreplaceable photos that are the last remnants of their former life.

We are a low-barrier shelter. Any woman who is unhoused is welcomed with open arms. Our goal is to improve living circumstances and eliminate homelessness. This can only be done by working together.

Thank you to ​​AZPM who created this heartfelt story about the center with the goal of creating awareness for women who are unhoused. We thank AZPM for their kindness, friendship, and sharing their talents.

AZPM – Özlem Ayşe Özgür (Producer), Nate Huffman and Danny Sax (Videographers), and Nate Huffman (Editor)

Homelessness in Pima County

60%

There has been a 60% increase in the number of people who are unhoused in Pima County between 2018 and 2023.

Graph of Pima County Stats
Persons Experiencing Homelessness in Pima County on the Night of PIT Count (2018-2023)

Source: 2023 Point in Time Count Report of Persons Experiencing Homelessness and Shelter/ Supportive Housing Utilization in Pima County, AZ from T​ucson Pima Collaboration to End Homelessness

Persons who are unhoused on a given night in Pima County:

2,209

total people

627

women

348

women who are unsheltered

515

adults with serious mental illness

495

adults with substance abuse disorder

228

adult survivors of domestic violence

Serving Up the Numbers

23,690

Guest Visits​

We had 23,690 guest visits in 2023. This is a 17% increase from the previous 12 months.

14,463

Overnight Stays​

We had 14,463 overnight stays in 2023. This number increased 19% from 2022.

32,264

Breakfasts Served

In 2023, we served 32,264 breakfasts. This is a 29% increase from the previous year. 

14,463

Dinners Served

We served 14,463 dinners in 2023, which is an increase of 19% from the previous year. 

Center Services

Meals

Meals

Six days a week, our facilities offer breakfast, lunch, and a home cooked dinner for women who are unhoused. With the help of our volunteers, we are able to provide nutritious meals keeping our guests healthy, happy, and comfortable. 

Laundry

Laundry

Our laundry room allows guests to clean their clothes and personal belongings. Because of the community’s generosity, we now have new, commercial washers and dryers so that each guest can have clean clothes whenever they need.  

Clothing

Clothing

Through generous donations, we are able to provide clean, warm clothes for our guests. We offer clothing, shoes, new underwear, and socks. Many of our guests don’t have access to the basic necessities we provide.

Safe Space

Safe Spaces

Sister José’s is a low barrier center without requirements, referrals, or fees. The center meets guests where they are and supports a journey to a more sustainable future. All guests and their beloved pets are treated with the respect and dignity they deserve and long for.

Showers

Showers

Our facilities are housed with four showers and four restrooms stocked with personal hygiene products. In addition, we have one shower and one bathroom that are wheelchair accessible. Throughout the day, our guests have access to our shower amenities.

Case Navigators

Case Navigators

Case Navigators provide our guests with mentorship and the necessary resources to begin their transition to stable housing. The safety and support provided by our case navigators helps our guests establish and achieve goals that prepare them to overcome barriers, navigate social services, and enter the rental or job market.

Our Programs

Overnight Program

The Overnight Program

Our Center offers fifty-three women beds and space to sleep soundly. When our neighbors live on the street, they often do not sleep at night because of the dangers they encounter. The Center provides women the gift of peace and safety in a community environment. The sense of community provides the structure they need to begin to build trust and become empowered to achieve a level of stability and find secure housing.

Our Approach

  • Collaborate with partners engaged in equity and justice work to bridge organizational gaps and work for systemic change.
  • Intensive case management where a guest-centered approach is co-designed with them to overcome obstacles and make steady progress towards stable housing and improved health and well-being.
  • Embed IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access) practices in staffing, training, programming to improve guest services, create positive outcomes, and create an equity-centered culture.
  • Empower women to take steps to become self-sustaining and improve their quality of life.
  • End social isolation and build community.
Day Program

The Day Program

Sister José’s provides a low-barrier daytime space for all guests. We serve those who are often excluded and unwelcome in traditional settings. When guests enter our doors, they are welcomed with open arms from staff and volunteers. Breakfast and lunch are available for women who would otherwise have no access to nutritious meals. The Center offers vital services that are the basic necessities of life. We are often told this is the last stop for guests who have no other option.

Our Approach

  • Ensure a robust cross-section of providers is available to offer services.
  • Provide integrated action plans that enhance access and engagement and promote health and housing stability.
  • Access to information and resources to empower women to take back control and begin to make decisions about their future. We ensure guests feel seen and heard.
  • Provide document replacement, transportation, and benefit enrollment; explain processes with plain language and bi-lingual staff/forms; and offer supportive services to complete tasks.
  • Ability for support animals to remain with guests in shelter.
  • Onsite access to showers, clothing, personal hygiene products, and laundry facilities.
  • Free Wi-fi, access to computers, and electricity to charge personal phones.