Opening Doors is the non-profit organization that operates the Maria House and Teresa Shelter. The mission of Opening Doors is to offer hospitality and opportunity to women, alone or with children, who need emergency/transitional housing and related support services. Opening Doors had its humble beginnings in the late 1990's when a compassionate community member found a homeless woman on a bench in Jackson Park with her dog. After making calls to various agencies to try to find a place for them to stay, the Humane Society took the dog, but there was no place for the woman to go. This need was brought to the attention of six Catholic women's religious communities (Sinsinawa Dominicans, Sisters of the Presentation, Sister of Charity-BVM, Sisters of the Visitation, Dubuque Franciscans, and Sisters of Mercy of Detroit) who committed seed money for the project. Now, over 14 years later, Opening Doors provides a variety of opportunities for women to affirm their dignity and become empowered members of the community.