Clara Kirk honored as Englewood shelters receive more help

Just days after a donor came to her rescue and paid her overdue heating bill, the founder of two shelters for homeless or abused women and children in the Englewood neighborhood learned she would get more help to keep both shelters going.

claras placeClara Kirk, the founder of “Clara’s House” and “Clara’s Place,” was recognized today for her service and commitment to the community.

The Illinois African American Families Commission announced a new partnership with the shelters. The panel, formed when Jim Edgar was Governor, helps address needs in the African American community.

Last week the heat was shut off at “Clara’s Place,” which houses 19 women and 23 children, after Kirk got behind on the bills.

Then an anonymous donor paid the $21,000 bill, as well as the $11,000 bill overdue at “Clara’s House”.   Kirk opened “Clara’s House” nearly 30 years ago.

The Illinois African American Families Commission will spread the word about what it calls a jewel in the community, issue calls for help, and investigate what grants or state funds the shelters and their residents may qualify for so they can survive and thrive.

“I thank God for these young men that have come to my rescue,” Kirk said today.

“She’s helping people that really need help and our job is to help her do that,” said IAAFC Executive Director Michael Holmes.

Kirk says her shelters will need help getting through the winter.  The shelters especially need donations of cash, food, sheets, towels and cleaning supplies.

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