About Home of the Sparrow

About Us

Hope, Opportunity and Support

Home of the Sparrow’s mission is to reduce the prevalence of homelessness among women, children, families, and individuals through creative strategies and community partnerships that result in lasting self-sufficiency.

Home of the Sparrow opened its doors as a registered 501(c)3 non-profit homeless shelter in 1987. Today, Home of the Sparrow not only provides Transitional Shelter, but also Affordable Housing and Rapid Re-Housing combined with Supportive Services that address the core issues of homelessness. On average, approximately 93 percent of those we serve have experienced domestic violence at some point on their journey. Other reasons for homelessness include unforeseen housing or financial crisis, a death in the family, or a medical emergency. The economy and rising cost of living contribute to unstable housing situations as well.

Home of the Sparrow received over 1,300+ calls in Fiscal Year 2023 from those in crisis, and we directly served over 590 women, children, and individuals!

Currently, Home of the Sparrow operates:

  • A Transitional shelter that can hold 32-40 individuals per night
  • 25 Affordable Housing Units throughout Northern Illinois
  • 5 Subsidized Apartments for low-income individuals who are not ready for permanent housing
  • Multiple Rapid Re-Housing Program that assists people experiencing homelessness into permanent housing
  • Outreach and Prevention Program with case managers who work with at-risk individuals or those who are experiencing homelessness

In Fiscal Year 2023:

Individuals Supported


Individuals Entering Permanent Housing

Dedicated Volunteers

Volunteer Hours

Home of the Sparrow Thrift Stores

In addition to housing and supportive services, Home of the Sparrow operates Seven Thrift Stores and Donation Centers located across Northern Illinois.

These stores not only provide a direct source of revenue for our programs and services, they also provide vouchers to help clients with clothing and specific needs and help other agencies when they have a critical need! With the support of over 700 volunteers per year, Home of the Sparrow is able to accomplish its mission. Home of the Sparrow relies on contributions from generous donors, event revenue (sponsorships, attendees), Community/Third-Party hosted events, and grants and financial support from the Thrift stores. You can make a difference – Your support can change someone’s life!

The Strength of a Sparrow

“Sparrows possess remarkable strength and endurance records. They seem to be impervious to severe winds or inclement weather. They fly continually, all day long, foraging for food. They have been clocked at great speeds and have been known to fly hundreds of miles during one daylight period. Their endurance and energy levels are enormous, and even their wing revolutions per minute present an awesome number. Sparrows are incredibly strong and tough little birds, making them appear virtually indestructible…

However, as powerful as sparrows are, if you, as a human being, were to catch a sparrow in your hand and squeeze it, you could break every bone in its body and crush it to death within thirty seconds.

You are very much like a sparrow. You appear powerful, strong, impervious to the storms of life, but I see you are crushed and broken, without a song.”

Joyce Landorf Heatherley, 1984

Watch our video to learn more about Home of the Sparrow and the women and children we help.