Home of the Sparrow Offers a Wide Range of Services!
Check them out below to see how we can help you!

Are You in Need of Assistance from Home of the Sparrow?

Overview of Programs

Some women experiencing homelessness face the additional challenges of a history of trauma, including domestic violence or of mental illness or substance abuse.  Home of the Sparrow offers programs and services that are trauma informed and modeled on evidence-based interventions and supports.

Home of the Sparrow programs are designed to strengthen and empower women to:

  • Obtain permanent housing
  • Develop life skills suited to each woman’s needs
  • Secure and maintain employment that pays a livable wage
  • Develop a continuing education plan, setting realistic and achievable goals
  • Evaluate their financial status, learning how, and why it is important to, maintain a budget
  • Identify issues that impede self-sufficiency and secure appropriate assistance through a variety of resources
  • Learn and apply healthy parenting skills to enhance the lives of their children

Range of Services

Women who are experiencing homelessness may be eligible for housing through our short-term, transitional shelter or one of our community-based housing programs.  Home of the Sparrow’s staff also provides residents with guidance and resources to help them achieve self-reliance.  Women may receive direct support or referrals to resources for utilities, food, clothing, transportation, etc.  These HOS services, provided at no cost, include:


Case management:
Home of the Sparrow’s experienced Case Managers work with shelter residents and housing program clients to develop an Individual Plan.  Areas of focus include employment, education, parenting, financial skills, housing, physical and mental health and well being.  Regular case management involves support and guidance in achieving individual goals in each area.   The process serves to empower women as they transition from homelessness to self-sufficiency.

Community Resources in McHenry County governmental and non-profit agencies offer an array of supportive services that strive to meet the needs of area residents.  Home of the Sparrow Case Managers are skilled at appropriate referral and utilization of those resources to supplement the supports offered by the agency.

Educational and employment options One of the keys to ending homelessness is a living wage.  Women who enter Home of the Sparrow programs are assisted with exploring and reaching educational and employment goals.  In the shelter setting, residents must be employed within ten weeks of entering the program.

Child-Care Assistance:
Home of the Sparrow shelter residents receive initial financial assistance with child care costs as well as connection to the 4C’s program for longer term support.

Adult Therapy:
The Adult Therapist is available to assist residents in their recovery from domestic violence and trauma.  She works with individuals to learn effective methods of addressing and decreasing mental health symptoms such as anxiety and depression.  Utilizing a person-centered and strengths-based approach, the Adult Therapist supports residents in achieving their goals and in re-establishing stability and independence in their lives.

Child & Family Therapy:
The Child and Family Therapist offers therapy services for mothers and their children of various ages.  Services reflect the individual needs of the resident.  Using play therapy, Child-Parent Psychotherapy and Rodgerian talk therapy, the HOS therapist provides a setting in which mothers and children can explore their feelings and struggles in addition to learning ways to improve their relationship or cope with daily issues.

Group Therapy:
Wellness Group is an ongoing open group focused on preventative mental health care.  Facilitated by the Adult Therapist, the weekly group includes an educational component and is oriented to the physical, psychological and spiritual well-being of the individual.  Group topics vary and address methods of improving functioning in areas such as using emotions effectively, choosing positive relationships, building a healthy self-concept,  living authentically, learning to “stress less” and focused relaxation for wellness.

Parent Training Classes:
The Incredible Years program is an evidence-based program which teaches parents how to implement effective parenting skills in order to reduce negative behaviors and reinforce positive behaviors.  The group utilizes videos of real parents practicing the techniques discussed in group, discussion and take home practice.  It is a ten week program facilitated by the Child and Family Therapist.

Financial Classes:
Financial difficulties and limited resources associated with homelessness make maintaining good credit very difficult.  Residents of HOS participate in Consumer Credit Counseling classes, learning to use credit responsibly and increase their credit score.  They also attend financial classes focused on creating a savings plan, reducing expenses, addressing previous debt and creating a budget which are all essential to financial recovery and self-sufficiency.

Life Skill Classes:
Life skills courses are designed to provide additional learning opportunities that pertain to self-sufficiency.  The topics vary based on residents’ needs.  Previous classes have included:  cooking on a budget, being a good renter, child seat safety, conflict resolution, job interviewing skills, resume and cover letter writing,  and more.

Navigating the world of social services can at times be difficult and frustrating.  HOS staff assist residents and clients with connections to services and, when needed, act as a strong voice on their behalf.

Supportive Services

Home of the Sparrow’s staff is comprised of compassionate, professional, social service and administrative personnel.  Together, each staff member plays an integral role in helping residents  realize they are capable of successful and independent living and taking the steps necessary to achieve self-sufficiency. Staff members include:


Vice President of Program Services:
A licensed clinical social worker who oversees the development and operation of all Program Services, including the transitional shelter and housing programs.  Oversees and supervises the case management and counseling staff.

Intake and Outreach Manager:
Completes assessments with callers who wish to enter one of the HOS programs.  For callers who qualify for the Short-Term Transitional Shelter Program, guides them through the intake process which includes collection of demographic information and personal history, mandatory TB and drug testing, criminal background check, etc.  Supervises the Outreach Coordinator.

Outreach Coordinator:
Provides case management services to callers who may or may not be on the HOS waiting list.  The focus is on preventing or minimizing the duration of homelessness where possible, connection to community resources such as food pantries, transportation, medical and mental health resources, etc.  Callers who are on the waiting list for the transitional shelter work with the Outreach Coordinator to develop and start working on individual goals.

Shelter Coordinator:
Oversees the day-to-day functioning of the Short-Term Transitional Shelter Program.  Supervises Shelter Case Managers and Staff

Shelter Case Managers:
Case Managers and Shelter Staff provide direct service to residents and clients to include:  development and ongoing review of individual plans, guidance and support in achieving individual goals related to education, employment, physical and mental health, financial skills, parenting, etc.

Housing Manager:
Manages the Affordable Housing, Rapid Rehousing Programs, and Transitional Apartment Program.  Completes the intake and application process for Affordable Housing Program applicants and provides ongoing case management services to AHP residents.  Oversees the Rapid Rehousing and Transitional Apartment Program.

Rapid Rehousing Case Manager:
Completes the intake and application process for the Rapid Rehousing Program applicants and provides ongoing case management services to RRH, AHP, and TAP residents.

Child and Family Therapist:
A licensed professional counselor who is certified with the national Board of Certified Counselors and licensed by the State of Illinois

Adult Therapist:
A licensed professional counselor who is certified with the National Board of Certified Counselors and licensed by the State of Illinois