Jean Fedigan, Exe Director of Sister Jose Women’s Center at DGT

    September 9, 2019 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
    Kettle restaurant
    748 W. Starr Pass Blvd. Tucson

    Jean Fedigan is Executive Director of Sister Jose Women’s Center

    Jean Fedigan


    “During the winter of 2010, nurse Jean Fedigan launched an emergency shelter in Tucson, Ariz. so homeless women could spend cold nights in a warm, safe environment.

    Jean Fedigan is the Executive Director for Sr. Jose Women’s Center since 2009.  The Center is open and welcoming to all homeless adult women.  It began as an Emergency Operation Deep Freeze Program for homeless women.  The shelter is opened nightly to allow homeless adult women to spend the coldest of winter nights in a warm, safe environment.
    The shelter is staffed by 40-50 active volunteers.  Jean is responsible for all operations of the Center and reports to the Board of Directors of the Center, of which Jean is a member.

    Jean was Vice President of Ancillary Services at the University of Arizona Medical Center, South and Main Campuses; was Chief Nursing Officer at University Physicians Hospital; Vice President of Ambulatory Services at the University Physicians Hospital and Outpatient Clinics; and was Director, Patient Care Services, and Chief Nursing Officer at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Institute of Tucson.  She is a Registered Nurse, has a Bachelor Degree in Nursing and a Masters of Business Administration in Healthcare Management from the University of Phoenix.

    “For many Tucson women experiencing homelessness Sister Jose Women’s Center (SJWC) is their only safe haven and the first step to recovery from homelessness. We are a Tucson-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2009. Our low-barrier day center provides unaccompanied homeless women with a stable and safe environment to recuperate from the daily struggle of homelessness and extreme poverty. The Winter Night Program provides overnight stays for women who would otherwise be sleeping outside; we provided 1562 overnights last winter. All of this was accomplished through the dedication and hard work of volunteers and university interns – they are the heartbeat of SJWC. We are more than a center; we are a community built upon the values of compassion, dignity and respect in a non-institutionalized setting. For many of our guests we are home.”


    Previous articleDemocratic candidates forum at TVVDC meeting
    Next articleSierra Yamanaka, Arizona National Committeewoman on DNC Update at DGT
    Carolyn Classen
    Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, (since Jan. 2013).


    1. Jean started Sister Jose Women’s Center 10 years ago to help homeless women, with 22 volunteers. 83 has been her oldest client, average age of women is 49 to 54 years, with 40% having PTSD, 80% with mental health issues. They served 1000 women in 2018, and safety is their priority, now have 262 volunteers. Homeless women try to be “invisible”, in hiding. Older homeless women are trafficked, give “survival sex”. Need to re-imagine a new life, to ask question “What can I do to change?”. Pets are allowed, and children sometimes. Questions from audience were what donations are needed (underwear, $); address is 110 S. Park Ave, northwest corner of E. 21st St; what other organizations do similar work; what is most dangerous for women on the street (violence); do children show up; is the situation getting worse or better; what legislative/lobbying efforts are out there. Jean said that transitional housing is needed, she has helped 130 women in 2 years get off the streets.

    Leave a Reply