Past winners

Special Recognition Award

When the US Veterans Affairs Department was mandated to find a solution to the problem of homeless veterans in Chicago, officials turned to an organization whose efforts to address the needs of the homeless are renowned: Catholic Charities of Chicago.

Meeting the challenge with the same vision and sensitivity that has won it nationwide respect, the organization created the 2.4 acre St. Leo’s Campus for Veterans in the Auburn Gresham community. Building on the site of a former church complex, and incorporating historic elements such as the original bell tower, Catholic Charities Housing Development Corporation has created a campus designed to meet the varied needs of veterans who now constitute as much as a quarter of all those who are homeless.

In addition to a 141-unit residence, St. Leo’s provides a medical clinic and resource center to help veterans throughout the city find better health care and employment opportunities. The outside spaces of the campus are as thoughtfully designed as the building. Beautifully landscaped terraces where paths wind through a memorial garden and commemorative trees provide a restful space for residents, visitors and the surrounding neighborhood.