Saint John’s Program for Real Change assists Sacramento’s most vulnerable women — women struggling with homelessness in combination with other challenges, like poverty, substance use disorder, mental health, violence and abuse — on their journey to bright, healthy and independent lives for themselves and their children.

Each day, we support up to 270 formerly homeless women and children as they work to overcome the deep-seated challenges and behaviors that have turned into crisis and trauma.

Saint John’s Program for Real Change

The 12-18 month residential program is designed to support women in taking responsibility for themselves and their families. We provide more than shelter and food. Our program — and the wrap-around services included within it — is designed to give women the ability to rise above past struggles and achieve job-readiness, self-sustainability and life-long stability.


Our residential facilities and transitional housing units provide a safe, structured, smoke-free and sober environment for families. Learn more about our amenities and how we prepare women for permanent housing and independence.

Mental Health Services

Holding down a job and supporting a family is not possible without mental stability. We offer mental health services, including individual and family counseling and case management services, to every woman who walks through our red doors.

Life Skills Training

Our life skills classes and programs show program participants how to live independently and maintain a healthy lifestyle — from budget coaching and parenting classes to exercise, anger management and more.

Educational Programs

Our Career Education and Placement Center prepares women to embark on the path towards a successful career, including achieving a high school diploma, training in technology and personal finance, job readiness classes and more.

Employment Training

Women in our program gain 400+ hours of on-the-job employment training through one of our social enterprises. They achieve real world experience and learn responsibility, accountability, work ethic and teamwork to prepare for gainful employment.

Child Care and Support

Children at Saint John’s are lovingly cared for and work through their own individualized program that promotes healing and healthy growth. Mothers can rest easy and focus on themselves through classes, training and therapy with the knowledge that their kids are in good hands.

Saint John’s operates 24 hours per day, across three shifts, 365 days per year. Each family at Saint John’s receives an average of 675 hours of services each month. And upon graduation, 96% of women are placed in non-subsidized employment.

What Real Change Looks Like

Our mission at Saint John’s is to unleash the potential of women and children in crisis by breaking the cycle of poverty and dependence, one family at a time. Within the women we serve, we witness this extraordinary change taking place over three chapters.

This is the breaking point. It is the acceptance that something, anything, must be done to escape the cycle of poverty, abuse, and dependence. No sob stories. No excuses. Just a challenge. Can you take an honest look at your life and your choices and decide that something needs to change once and for all? With the opportunities presented at Saint John’s, can you leverage your potential to create significant change in your life?

The real test of mettle begins here. You’ll dig down to the root causes of your homelessness and start making enormous life changes through comprehensive mental health services, GED attainment and career education. All the while, your children also receive emotional and developmental support through our Children’s Program.

With Employment Training at Plates Café and Catering and Red Door Desserts, mothers learn the essential skills to become employable and ready to join the workforce. It’s an arduous process, because it’s hard, honest work. Many don’t make it. But those who do – prosper.

This is graduation. Those who make it here are ready for the real world. A real job. Permanent housing. And a sustainable way to support a family. It’s new territory for many. A stage that marks the end of a routine of hardship and failure. This is looking adversity in the eye and saying “Not this time.” Now – real life begins.

There is no easy way to escape living in crisis, and our program challenges mothers experiencing homelessness to grapple with that difficult truth. It’s hard. It’s painful. And it’s not for everyone.

It takes a certain type of woman to stand up to everything that’s ever damaged or broken you and take full, complete control of your life. To fight the pervasive influence of homelessness, poverty, and abuse. To make an empowered decision to rise up and become a productive community member. To understand, unequivocally, that the decision to create a better life – for yourself and for your family – rests entirely on you.

Saint John’s Program for Real Change is licensed by the State Department of Health Care Services.