Our History

Circle the City is a 501 (c) (3) public charity founded by Sister Adele O’Sullivan, CSJ, M.D., as a result of her work as a physician provider with the Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) Program in Phoenix, Arizona. A member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet since 1968, Sister Adele sees her medical work with Phoenix’s homeless population as a calling that is directly in keeping with the mission of her community to “engage in works of compassion and mercy that respond to the spiritual and corporal needs of persons in our times.”

From 1996 to 2009, Sister Adele provided primary health care to homeless patients all over the Valley.  During those years, she successfully appealed to her community, and other faith communities and individuals throughout Phoenix, for the seed money to help address the unmet needs of this population. Over the years, monetary donations kept in a shoebox gave way to a bank account as the generosity of the community came forth.
Sister Adele’s community fully embraced her work on behalf of homeless persons, and it is from these humble beginnings that Circle the City was born. With the assistance of an Advisory Board formed in September 2007, Circle the City incorporated in March 2008 and has been recognized by the IRS since that time as a tax-exempt public charity.

Between 2008 and 2012 the organization continued its mission of assisting homeless persons during times of illness by addressing unmet needs.  These needs were as varied as medical care and imaging studies, vision exams and glasses, travel funds, rent and utility assistance. But while providing these services, the organization steadily worked toward the accomplishment of Circle the City’s main goal:  the establishment of Arizona’s first Medical Respite Center for homeless persons. 

In the fall of 2011, through a partnership with Hospice of the Valley, Circle the City acquired the building at 333 W. Indian School Rd. in Phoenix.  Construction began in the spring of 2012, and the building was finished in September.  On September 28, 2012, Phoenix celebrated the opening of its first Medical Respite Center, where homeless men and women will be able to recover from illness or injury in an atmosphere of dignity and respect, receiving all the services they need to move on to healthy independent living. Since opening its doors, Circle the City has served more than 180 patients and partnered with more than a dozen healthcare facilities throughout the Valley.