“My goals are to save money to get my own place, get a permanent job, give back to the shelter and give to others who are in need.” – Chery Sandford
Cheryl and her two younger sisters were raised in Chicago. Her family lived with their grandmother in her home. Her parents were divorced when Cheryl was a senior in high school.
Cheryl went to Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich. She earned a bachelor of arts in Business Administration and a minor in Computer Science. Then, she went on to earn a graduate degree in Education from Ohio University.
“I moved back to Chicago to help care for my grandmother,” Cheryl says.
For years, Cheryl held a number of positions in the fields of information technology and training within the consulting and banking industries.
Cheryl helped care for her grandmother until she passed away in 2012. Unfortunately, soon after, Cheryl lost her job and her apartment and became homeless.
With no place to go, she put her belongings in storage. She found Franciscan Outreach where she’s able to stay in a safe and secure place, eat three meals a day and have access to the services and resources to help her get back on her feet.
“I became depressed. But Franciscan Outreach has been very helpful especially with its support groups.” “They’ve helped me a lot. I see things from a different’ perspective,” she says.
She attends the Motivation, Financial Literacy and Critical Thinking support groups. She also works with her case manager to find employment and housing opportunities.
Cheryl is currently working part-time in Hospitality and Guest Services at Rush University Medical Center.
“Things have been looking up for me,” says Cheryl. “When I leave here, I plan to help others. I would like to help motivate people. Maybe I’ll be a counselor.” “Maybe I’ll go back to school and get my doctorate,” she says.
Cheryl Sandford is a part of the Franciscan Outreach Mobile Gallery – A Portrait of Homelessness in Chicago.