Skip to Main Content

Chief Executive Officer

Deborah's Place
Chicago, IL
  • Expired: December 19, 2022. Applications are no longer accepted.

About Deborah's Place

Deborah's Place was founded 37 years ago to address a need to serve unaccompanied women experiencing homelessness. The organization started as an overnight shelter in a church basement and now owns and operates two permanent supportive housing locations and coordinates housing and services for more than 250 units of housing across the City of Chicago. Deborah's Place is the largest provider of permanent supportive housing and services in Chicago exclusively for unaccompanied women.

Deborah's Place is governed by a 13-member Board of Directors. With a staff team of more than 92 full and part-time employees and an annual operating budget of $6 Million, Deborah's Place serves over 600 women annually.

Our Vision

A community where every woman has housing and leads a safe, healthy, and empowered life.

Our Mission

Deborah's Place opens doors of opportunity for women who are homeless in Chicago. Supportive housing and services offer women their key to healing, achieving their goals, and moving on from the experience of homelessness.

Our Core Values and Beliefs

  • We believe that safe, clean, and affordable housing is a right.
  • We believe that every woman has the potential to achieve her goals and determine her future.
  • We believe that women heal from life traumas through healthy relationships and a caring, supportive community.
  • We believe we must seek to affirm diversity, strive to be inclusive of individual identities and experiences, and work to create an intentional and equitable community of residents, staff, volunteers, and donors
  • We believe in striving for continual growth, development, and excellence in the supportive housing and services we provide.
  • We believe that our impact is greatest when we work in collaboration with individuals, organizations & the community at large.

Case for Support

Deborah's Place achieves its mission through a model that combines supportive housing with a menu of voluntary, evidence-based services. The model has evolved over 37 years, using external research and internal data to develop and deliver effective programs and services. Women who experience chronic homelessness can and do overcome complex barriers to housing, health, and stability when they have what they need to be successful - access to affordable and appropriate housing, adequate healthcare, regular income, and positive social support. Harm reduction, trauma-informed care, supportive housing, and motivational interviewing are the cornerstones of our approach to serving unaccompanied women experiencing homelessness.

Housing Programs and Support Services

Deborah's Place offers a range of housing programs and support services as summarized below. Detailed descriptions of housing programs are available here and support services are here.

  • Permanent Supportive Housing - Project Based
  • Permanent Supportive Housing - Community-Based
  • Interim Housing Program
  • Safe Haven Housing Program
  • Clinical Services
  • Residential Services
  • Alumnae Services

Strategic Priorities for FY23 and FY24

  1. A supported employment pilot program that improves income/employment
  2. The organization's leadership supports a dynamic culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion that is robustly and adequately resourced
  3. Develop inclusive & equal access to IT resources for staff & residents
  4. Create a culture of resident-driven advocacy & community engagement
  5. Develop new & expanded partnerships (housing, employment & health)

The CEO Opportunity

The next CEO will have the opportunity to inspire a motivated staff team, influence system-wide strategies and policies that address homelessness and impact the lives of women and persons identifying as women by ending homelessness in Chicago. Working with our skilled and dedicated staff and Board of Directors, the CEO will have the opportunity to build on and shape our strategy and programming.

The CEO will have the opportunity to support organizational efforts to operationalize diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, promote the Housing First program model, engage with and build partnerships, encourage internal leadership development and advocate for the women and persons identifying as women we serve in the broader Chicago Continuum of Care.

The CEO will be joining Deborah's Place at a vital time in the organization's growth and development.. Deborah's Place is growing both in terms of the number of people served and number and breadth of partnerships. Over the past three years, Deborah's Place has:

(1) Doubled the number of women we serve through partnership opportunities and opportunities created with federal and state money during the pandemic,

(2) Increased the number of internal staffers of color advancing into higher management positions,

(3) Increased revenue from government, foundations and individuals, which led increased the number of units and subsidies for women coming directly from street to housing and

(4) Entered into a partnership with a housing developer to provide support services to 34 women experiencing homeless when that project commences in 2023.

Overview of CEO Position

The CEO leads Deborah's Place in a manner that cultivates belonging, inclusion and equity for staff, residents and board members. The CEO plays a vital sector leadership role advocating and collaborating on issues that matter most to residents and partners.

The senior leadership team, which is guided by the CEO includes the Chief Financial Officer, the Chief Strategy Officer, Human Resources Director, Property Management Director, Clinical Services Director, Residential Services Director and the Development Director. Deborah's Place has 92 staff members represented throughout its five departments: (1) Human Resources, (2) Property Management, (3) Clinical Services, (4) Residential Services, and (5) Development/Fundraising. The CEO ensures that all agency operations and planning processes are consistent with agency plans and with its mission, vision, and values.

This is a full-time position, hired by and directly accountable to the Board of Directors.

Key Responsibilities

  • Strategy and Planning: Working with the Board of Directors and staff to develop our shared vision for the future.
  • Resource Development: Cultivating and stewarding relationships with current, prospective and new donors (individuals and institutional), developing and implementing fundraising systems and strategies that enable the agency to meet its financial and development goals.
  • Team and Staff Development and Management: Developing and supervising staff, including recruitment and selections; counseling/coaching; development and training; performance evaluation and compensation planning.
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging: Centering our six priorities, (1) Employee and Resident engagement and sense of belonging, (2) Internal talent review and development, (3) Board and Staff recruitment /hiring that reflects those people we serve, (4) Culturally inclusive programs, services and housing (a DEI committee assists and promotes), (5) DEI education and training for board, residents and staff and (6) Data analytics and reporting - holding ourselves accountable for goals and outcome results.
  • Board Relations: Developing and maintaining a strong working relationship with the Board of Directors that enables the board to effectively carry out its governance role.
  • Communications and Engagement: Promoting and advocating for the agency and its mission, elevating the agency's social media presence and reach, and building relationships with stakeholder groups critical to the organization's success (including active participation in the work of the Chicago Continuum of Care)
  • Financial Management and Performance: Ensuring that the organization's goals and strategic plan serve as the basis for sound financial management and performance, which leads to financial sustainability.
  • Compliance and Administration: Working with staff to develop, maintain and use systems and resources that facilitate effective operations.

Leadership Profile

We seek candidates with executive level experience including but not limited to:

Inspiring Strategic Leader

The candidate we seek is a proven and effective strategic leader who is passionate about our mission, people and values. They are an authentic and respected leader who seeks to lead a high-performing team, which innovates in the face of challenges and opportunities and thrives in the process of shared decision-making.

The candidate will inspire and guide Deborah's Place to live our equity and inclusion values and priorities in a manner that confronts structural barriers, advances anti-racism and brings justice, fairness and belonging to all. They are eager for a leadership role, where along with the Board of Directors and staff they will develop a shared vision for the future of the agency.

Great Ambassador and Resource Developer

The candidate has the enthusiasm and humility to represent Deborah's Place to all communities with the know-how to expand upon our base of major and individual donors through engagement, cultivation and stewardship.

The ideal leader will have the ability to work with internal and external stakeholders to accelerate impact through collaboration. This includes active participation in the Chicago Continuum of Care.

Formidable Management Savvy

The candidate has demonstrated management experience in a mid-size, complex, multi-site organization and experience with a diversified funding portfolio including (1) significant reliance on government funding and (2) partnerships with housing and health organizations.

The candidate has strong financial management skills and the ability to develop and implement fundraising systems and strategies that enable the agency to meet its financial and revenue goals. The ability to understand and negotiate complex contracts, licenses, and agreements is a must. Ideally, the candidate would have experience in an organization with a budget of at least $6M annually.

Undeniable Adaptability and Nimbleness

A strong candidate for this position will have a high degree of emotional intelligence (i.e., self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management). They will be able to prioritize the agency's accountability and compliance needs while understanding the organizational culture of valuing interpersonal relationships and self-care.

Demonstrated ability to respond and manage change, particularly in response to emerging opportunities and risk. Experience in scenario planning focused on complex problems and an ability to lead the way in the face of current external political and financial realities would be encouraging.

Qualifications and Requirements

Education: Bachelor's degree required. Master's degree or equivalent experience in Not-for-Profit Management, social work, public administration, public health or a related field.

Required Licensure and/or Certification: N/A

Job Experience: Minimum 5 years of executive leadership experience, preferably in the non-for-profit sector.

Special Knowledge & Skills: Demonstrated skill and experience in: strategic planning and implementation; fiscal and resource development management; Microsoft Office Suite; familiarity with operational, financial, quality assurance, and human resource procedures and regulations is a must.

Environment/Working Conditions

This position operates in a professional office work environment located in the East Garfield Park neighborhood. Primarily In-person (office, other sites) with an option for flexibility. Some travel to off-site locations in Chicago is required. Occasionally, some out of area travel may be expected. Workplace is a smoke and drug free environment.

Compensation and Benefits

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. The starting salary for this role begins at $188,000 annually, plus a competitive benefits package and professional development opportunities. Reliable commute or planning to relocate before starting work (Required). Relocation assistance will not be provided.

Equal Opportunity Statement

Deborah's Place is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employer and actively seeks diversity in its workforce. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, citizenship, pregnancy or maternity, national origin, status as an individual with a disability, age, ancestry, protected veteran status, or any other status protected by applicable federal, state or local law.

Job descriptions are not intended and should not be construed to be all-inclusive lists of all responsibilities, skills, efforts or working conditions associated with a job. While this job description is intended to be an accurate reflection of the job requirements, management reserves the right to modify, add or remove duties from particular jobs and to assign other duties as necessary. This job description does not constitute a written or implied contract of employment.

Deborah's Place


Chicago, IL
60290 USA