scroll down to read

finally Felicia

Finally Felicia

When Felicia underwent gastric bypass surgery in 2006, little did she know that this procedure would produce the opposite result for which it was intended: instead of leading to improved health, it resulted in an addiction to opioids. When she could no longer get her hands on pain meds, she turned to meth, and from there, it was a twisted, agonizing downward spiral. “When you take opioids, your body starts…


She is Risen

Resurrection, rebirth, renewal are all words we will hear a lot this week, but these are words that we live by, every day, at Saint John’s. When women and children arrive at our doors, the joy and exuberance that is life is missing from their eyes, from their faces, from their souls. They are broken, they are exhausted, they are desperate. Rock bottom seems like a step up. We embrace…


Stephanie’s Serendipity

As a single mother of three, living paycheck-to-paycheck was a way of life. Stephanie became the sole parent of her family in 2014, when her husband was sentenced to 27 years to life in prison for beating her. For years, the beatings had gone unreported, as he repeatedly threatened to kill her and their son if she reported the abuse, even going so far as to destroy her cell phone…


Sandy’s Salvation

What kind of mother uses while she’s pregnant? What kind of mother would continue to use, knowing she had four babies already removed from her care by “the system?” Looking back at a life I can no longer fathom, I am forever grateful for the Real Change I have finally been able to achieve. At 32 years old, I was homeless, pregnant and strung out on meth… while pregnant with…


Silver Belle

Silver had it all – marriage, family, a career, a home. An avid learner with a passion to explore, school and classes have always been a part of her life. After earning her high school diploma, she went right to work, but always fit a class or two into her life. “I like to keep things fresh,” observes Silver. “There’s always more to learn.” Over the course of her career,…


Dawn Rising

“People ain’t perfect. We all have these flaws and we all have these hiccups.” Dawn originally entered Saint John’s ten years ago. She went through the program simply to get done with it. She admits, “I was doing what I was told to do. I wasn’t receiving what I was supposed to be receiving, I was just going through the motions. I was there because CPS had requested I do…


Unstoppable Maria

Maria walks into Saint John’s in scrubs fresh off a break from her job at UC Davis Medical Center. She has a bright, infectious smile and truly seems to be the happiest person in the world which is simply amazing as she was homeless before finding Saint John’s Program for Real Change. “I love my job,” she says smiling. ”I actually got this job, thanks to Saint John’s. I didn’t…


Helping Children Succeed

Our average client is 34 years old and has two children, 47% of whom arrive at our doors suffering from depression and anxiety as a result of their homelessness. Many of these children have been raised in an environment rife with drugs, alcohol and domestic violence, and have endured uninhabitable living conditions, with no awareness that this is not normal, nor acceptable. At Saint John’s, we know that treating our…


Erika’s Story

“It’s been a long journey and a lot of hard work,” the mother of three says, calling Saint John’s Program for Real Change a real blessing. Despite her seemingly tranquil nature, Erika, at age 30, has been haunted by fear for most of her life. Fear of going to school in aging, often unwashed clothing; fear of her mother’s frequent absences in search of the big win at the gaming…


All Dolled Up!

A mother of five daughters, 85-year-old Nancy Thompson was inspired to make her first doll more than 30 years ago. After making one for each daughter, their friends wanted them too. When daughter Chris was in nursing school, she came home one day with a tale of a patient whose parents were both farm workers and therefore gone all day. “I made her a doll so that she would have…

SJP Police Visit

Chastity in Charge!

Chastity grew up in foster care in New Jersey from the age of seven, and was pregnant with her son by the time she turned 21. With a work history including serving as a safety manager and facilities administrator at Aeroforms, a contractor for Exxon Mobile, an Uber/Lyft driver and various positions managing fast food restaurants, she never experienced legal problems, drug or alcohol addiction like many of our clients…

April (left) surprised her sister Jenifer (with Saint John's CEO MIchele Steeb, center) by travelling from the Philippines to witness Jenifer sing for our 600+ Party for Change guests!

A Sister’s Story

If you’ve ever been in a support-person role (and most of us have), you know how difficult it is to navigate the obstacles, emotions, logistics and, in most cases, unfavorable circumstances associated with the person you are trying to help. Add to that the frustration and heartbreak of doing everything you know to be physically, financially and emotionally possible, and still your loved one flounders. The family and friends of…

Reverse GCD 2018_3

Turning the Tables

Ten times per year, we hold our popular Guest Chef Dinners at Plates Café, where 200-250 members of our community gather in support of our program to enjoy a delicious meal-with-a-meaning, prepared and presented by a local “guest chef” with the help of our Employment Training Program participants. Each fall for the past three years, we’ve turned the tables with a “Reverse Guest Chef Dinner,” where together with the support…

Councilwoman Ashby


It is our great pleasure to announce the recipients of our 2018 Champions of Change awards, Sacramento City Councilwoman Angelique Ashby and Sierra Health Foundation President and CEO Chet Hewitt! The award, now in its second year, recognizes those who exemplify Saint John’s core values: Love, Courage, Effort, Gratitude, Respect, Community and Growth. Please consider joining us, if you haven’t already reserved your ticket, at our November 3 Party for…


A Giant Hip Hip Hooray for Allstate Agent and Saint John’s Volunteer Zachary Wandell

Recipient of the 2018 Ray Lynch Community Service Award! Sacramento Allstate agency owner and community volunteer extraordinaire Zachary Wandell has been awarded the prestigious 2018 Ray Lynch Community Service Award, and we couldn’t be prouder! The award is Allstate’s top national honor commending an agency owner or financial specialist for giving back and supporting people and organizations in their local communities. The award, established in 2000 in memory of Allstate…


From the Mouths, and Eyes, and Ears, of Babes

More than three million children witness domestic violence in their families each year. Three million. Think about that for just a moment, and your heart hurts. The things they’ve seen, the things they’ve heard, the travesties they’ve endured, for most of us this is simply unimaginable. 47 percent of the children that arrive at Saint John’s suffer from anxiety or depression as a result of their homelessness, and more than…

Dr. Olliver Jean Rogers

Real Change Becomes a Reality

We are so very proud to announce that one of our favorite supporters, volunteers, and yes, a former Saint John’s client, Pastor Olliver Jean Rogers, earned her Doctor of Philosophy in Christian Counseling from the Pacific Northwest Seminary on September 20th! Way to go Dr. Rogers! Olliver earned her pastoral ministry from the Church of Transformation in Leesville, Louisiana in 2008 after 11 years of sobriety from a debilitating cocaine…

Challenge Social Image_Purple Purse

Time to Get Out Your Purple Purse!

For the third year running, Saint John’s will be participating in the Purple Purse Challenge, a 31-day national campaign that unites nonprofits in a competition to raise funds for life-changing services to help domestic violence survivors. Sponsored by the Allstate Foundation, one of our strongest supporters, this fundraising effort is held each year throughout the month of October, recognized nationally as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Some eye-opening, heart-wrenching statistics that…

Graduate & Class Representative Julianna M.

Julianna’s Story

Julianna came to Saint John’s straight from treatment on September 18th, 2017, as there was no other place to go. Coming from a life of domestic violence and addiction, her partner was incarcerated for attacking her in her seventh month of pregnancy. And because of her addiction, CPS took custody of her children, and gave her little to no hope that she would ever get them back. Reunification, they told…

Alumnae Lucy G. Photo courtesy of Brenda Bisharat photrography.

Lucy’s Story

Suffering from depression and PTSD, Lucy was lost – to herself and to her children – and ended up self-medicating, and self-destructing, with drugs and alcohol. After finding the strength to enter rehab, and celebrating six-months sobriety, she knew she needed more. Finding Saint John’s was her salvation. “Saint John’s changed everything for me,” observes Lucy. “Life is still scary at times, but now I can deal with it. Saint…

Alumna Lupe S. ~ Photo courtesy of Brenda Bisharat Photography

Lupe’s Story

Living couch to couch and abusing drugs, Lupe knew she had to make a change, but she faced unforgiving stigmas in her traditional Mexican family. She was at the point where she was going to lose her kids. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired! Lupe faced her fears and stood up against the threat of her family disowning her. I just said, “This is where I…

On November 4th, 2017, Mandy and her children shared their story at our annual fundraiser Party for Change.

Mandy’s Story

I met with Mandy at Saint John’s and was immediately overwhelmed by the feeling that everything would be OK. Mandy’s quiet strength and honest gaze just made me feel safe. What’s remarkable is how far she’s come in just a short amount of time. It was a little over two years ago on Christmas day that this beautiful mother of six children was balled up in the corner of a…

Photo courtesy of Brenda Bisharat.

Jamie’s Story

Jamie was worried that her abusive roommate and want-to-be suitor would soon turn on her young daughter. She was repeatedly turned down at shelters because her abuser was not her partner, until she found Saint John’s. “Saint John’s changed my life,” says Jamie. “When I walked in, I thought it was beautiful. I knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” While in the program, Jamie lost her daughter’s father in a…

Jennifer R.  - Saint John's Alumna. Photo courtesy of Brenda Bisharat.

Jennifer’s Success Story

Following the death of her beloved mother and having her son survive a stabbing that left him permanently blind in one eye, Jennifer found herself homeless at 40 years old, and suffering from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). She became agoraphobic — afraid of stepping outside– and afraid of even letting her daughter walk to school by herself. Jennifer and her young daughter resorted to wandering the streets of Sacramento, sleeping…


Saint John’s – A Symphony of Moving Parts

When Catia Saraiva-Munoz discovered Saint John’s Program for Real Change in her quest to partner with a community-based non-profit, she was more than impressed by what she found. “This is not a typical charity that provides food and shelter to the homeless,” explains Saraiva-Munoz. “This program delivers tangible results. It addresses all of the many facets that lead to homelessness including unemployment, mental health, parenting skills, addiction, domestic violence and…


Erika’s Success Story

There is a Walmart parking lot in North Sacramento where Erika and her 12 year-old daughter Gabby spent some nights. They had free Wi-Fi and Erika would let Gabby play on her phone to pass the time. Homeless off and on for almost five years, every day was an exercise in survival. Erika and Gabby would slip into the bathroom at Walmart to wash up, hoping none of the store…


Maria’s Story

She remembered it like it was yesterday – the events of that night forever seared into her memory. Maria, a former addict, thought she was finally getting her life together. After living crammed in a van with family members for four months, including her sister and the father of her child, she had finally scraped up enough money to get an apartment. Unfortunately, the sense of relief she felt was…

Adrianna Kathleen Granlund

Adrianna’s Story

If nothing ever changed, there would be no butterflies – Anonymous I had the pleasure to sit and chat with Adrianna, a graduate of Saint John’s Program for Real Change, and soon came to realize that she is an incredible example of how to overcome adversity through perseverance and faith. My first thought, upon hearing her story, was that it would have been easy for Adrianna to give up. A…


Wendy’s Story

“It started with the electricity being turned off,” says Wendy, a mom of two and a resident of the Saint John’s Program for Real Change. Within one month of the lights going off, Child Protective Services (CPS) showed up at the kids’ school even though they were both showered and fed. What could have precipitated such a swift response from CPS? When I sat down with Wendy to discuss how…

Kaira (left), after receiving her high school diploma -
 another step towards real change!

Kaira’s Story

As we begin a new year I would like to invite you to meet someone who has given me a completely different perspective on my life. And this is by no means a temporary effect, it is daily. I think about her daily.  When I visited the program at Saint John’s in December I had never been to the facilities. I had been to the fundraisers and was incredibly touched…

Contact us

email us at:
2443 Fair Oaks Blvd, #369
Sacramento, CA 95825-7684
Mailing address only.
Not a physical location.
Nonprofit, 501(c)(3)
(Tax ID: 68-0132934).

Make a difference


Click to Donate