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Ohio City, Poverty, Social Services

In Memory of Sister Donna Hawk, Congregation of St. Joseph

March 12, 1943- January 28, 2015

(Plain Press, March 2015) Sister Donna Hawk will be remembered as an advocate for the homeless. Hawk, a member of the Congregation of St. Joseph, after spending her early career in elementary education, served as one of the founders of the West Side Catholic Center and as co-director of the West Side Catholic Center’s Shelter in the early 1980s. Hawk also served for many years as a board member of the West Side Catholic Center.

In 1984, Sister Donna Hawk teamed with Sister Loretta Schulte to found Transitional Housing Inc. (now called Front Steps) The organization secured an old motel on W. 25th Street and transformed it into a place where women and their young children could transition from dire circumstances to a better life.

Sister Donna Hawk was a founding member of the Ohio Coalition for the Homeless and a founding president of its Northeast Ohio Chapter. She was instrumental in helping secure voting rights for the homeless and worked to find solutions to the societal problems that led to homelessness. Sister Donna Hawk also served as a Cuyahoga County appointee to the Office of Homeless Services.

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