The Julia Greeley Home opened its doors in August 2013 in a two-bedroom Victorian-era house in the Denver metro area. Two years later, we moved to a 6-bed home in the same vicinity.
The idea of Julia's started with the ministry of a Capuchin priest, dedicated to serving the poor. Father Regis Scanlon, O.F.M. Cap, kept meeting a certain kind of "invisible homeless person": the woman who is alone.
He was concerned that the homeless woman who is alone is underserved in the homeless population. "But Father, I have nowhere to go!" is a cry he heard often. Programs and temporary shelters existed for men, families, and women and children, but there have been few for the woman alone.
Today, the woman alone still faces a cruel choice: a temporary (overnight) bed if she can find one; an uncertain life of constant instability, and risk from street predators.
Many of these women have been thrown into homelessness because of life-changing trauma: domestic abuse, financial collapse, emotional breakdown, estrangement from family. Already vulnerable, the instability and physical danger of homelessness is one more blow.
A unique aspect of the Julia Greeley Home program is that each woman is given the time she needs to identify her own individualized path to self-sufficiency. She is welcome to stay as long as she keeps meeting her goals, which lead to full or part-time employment, safe permanent housing, and/or reconciliation with family. Length of stay varies greatly - some women need only a few months to find their path; others may stay 6-8 months, or even a year.
While there is no specific deadline to leave, a woman must always be achieving her goals, step by step, whether it's finding a job, or stable housing, or a return to the family setting. While she is working toward her goals, we give her the stability and spiritual support of a family-styled home.
Personal responsibility is a hallmark of all truly successful lives, and our residents honor that commitment by contributing a $300/month guest fee. This fee helps offset the cost of maintaining the home for our guests, and underscores an important quality in every person: the quality of personal accountability . We do not take public funding; the rest of our support is supplied by grants and private donations.
From our founding days in a small, family-style setting, we have provided a haven for nearly 100 women who came to us stricken by life circumstances, and who are seeking stability in their lives.
Through our partnership with the Ward Family Foundation, Alexandria, VA, we also offer access to its private scholarship foundation so that qualified women may choose to continue their education during their time with us, and even after beginning their new lives of independence.
Through personal encouragement, spiritual support, and access to education and life skills, we help "Julia's guests" -- the women who come to us -- discover, for themselves, new lives of purpose and meaning.