Helping St. Leonard's Ministries

St. Leonard’s Ministries (SLM) is an umbrella agency that provides residential and supportive services to men and women exiting Illinois prisons. Originating in the mid 1950s though the support of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago and the vision of its founder, Father James Jones, the agency has expanded to include various programs for men and women. St. Leonard’s House opened its doors in the mid-1950s through the efforts of Father James Jones, Chaplain at Chicago’s Bridewell Jail, and many interested members of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago. Father Jones and Father Robert Taylor, both Episcopal priests, were early forces in shaping St. Leonard’s; both were well known in Chicago and with the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC). Since its doors first opened, programs for those released from prison have been provided at the original location at the corner of Hoyne & Warren on Chicago’s West Side. The second residential building on the St. Leonard’s House campus, 2110 West Warren, was purchased in the mid-1960s and later housed a program for troubled youth as well as a few local political offices. The building lay abandoned through the 1980s. It was then rehabbed and reopened to provide additional program space for the men who came to St. Leonard’s House. This effort brought the number of available beds to 40. Soon, additional office space was provided with the rehab and expansion of Randall Hall. This building is named after former resident and executive director, Louis Randall, and provides space for administrative offices. In response to the growing number of women in Illinois prisons, Grace House opened in 1994. Temporarily located at 5lst and Ashland, the program was soon moved to a permanent residence for 18 women at the corner of Adams and Wood Streets, just a few blocks from St. Leonard’s House. To respond to another need, St. Andrew’s Court was opened in 1998 to provide housing and accompanying supportive services to men who leave St. Leonard’s House. Located just north of St. Leonard’s House, St. Andrew’s Court provides 42 units of single-room-occupancy apartments and supportive services.