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  • Writer's pictureLillian Bui

Heartbeat of this Work: Harriet Sadauskas – 125th Anniversary Women's History Month Highlight

A slideshow of a woman with friends and children

“I think we live in a world that doesn’t recognize the value of every human being and their full potential. Settlement houses have survived for hundreds of years to fill that void.”

-Harriet Sadauskas, Association House President Emeritus

In 1973, Harriet Sadauskas-- born to a Lithuanian father and Polish mother-- walked into Association House to drop off her resume for a secretarial position in our senior outreach program. 51 years later, she’s still here.

This Women’s History Month, we’re looking back at the women who shaped Association House to the institution it is today, 125 years later.

Our Vice President, Julie Rodriguez, puts it this way, “if you’re inspired by the work of Association House, you’re inspired by Harriet.”

“This was never about a job, it was about connecting with people,” Harriet explains.

In 2020, Harriet retired from her position as President & CEO, a role she’d held since 1993. During her time with the House, she saw a shift in demographics, from serving Polish immigrants like her mother, to the mixed Latinx and African American population served today.

She led the move to our Kedzie building, bringing all services under one roof. She oversaw the growth of our high school, the creation of our Financial Careers Training program, and the significant expansion of our Behavioral Health teams.

At Faces of Hope on June 13, 2024, Harriet will join with other staff and volunteers who have dedicated their lives to this work as she receives her second Spirit of Hope award. Join us! 

This story is part of our 125th anniversary series. Follow along for more throughout the year! Have your own Association House history story? We’d love to hear it! Contact us via email at    



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