Powerful groups of women, from the women’s rights advocates in the sixties and seventies, to the Women’s March in 2017, have motivated change, created awareness, and had great impact on millions of women. These groups or movements have paved the way forward for countless women to make an impact in their communities. Following this impetus, a group of women passionate about service to others, took a similar leap of faith. In 1983, while working in a women’s shelter in downtown Seattle, three sisters from the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace witnessed the continued cycle of unhoused women moving unsuccessfully in and out of the shelter system and became determined to create a program that would provide stability and wraparound services. Envisioning a community that would give women experiencing homelessness time to heal, resources to get back on their feet and a network of continuous support from peers, Jubilee Women’s Center was created.
Over the next 30 years, Jubilee Women’s Center would support and be supported by thousands of community members. In October 2014, the Sisters of Providence built upon the promise of Jubilee and gifted us, Sojourners Place, a home in the University District. With the addition of Sojourners Place, Jubilee was able to offer ten additional women continued transformational housing and supportive services.
Now, close to four decades later, we continue to be dedicated to the holistic models of care these inspirational women first envisioned. Today, as an independent 501c3, Jubilee honors the contributions of the Sisters, by designating two seats on our Board of Directors to members of their congregations. This simple, yet powerful motivation to support vulnerable women has flourished into a beautiful tapestry, interweaving a vibrant community of diverse people who shape Jubilee.
Jubilee pays tribute to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace and the Sisters of Providence who have empowered us to lean in to our strengths. To our community of support — donors, volunteers, staff, and participants who have celebrated all our successes great and small and continue to support and build on the promise that is Jubilee. Thank you for inspiring us to do better.