Arloa Sutter Garfield Park Breakthrough founder
Our Founder

Arloa Sutter

Arloa is the founder and visionary leader for Breakthrough. In 1992, she responded to a need and began serving hot coffee and lunch to individuals experiencing homelessness in a church storefront in her North Side neighborhood.

Breakthrough relocated to East Garfield Park in 2008, and by listening to the needs of the community, Arloa’s vision became clear. For nearly 30 years, she faithfully served as the Executive Director of Breakthrough and oversaw the growth of the organization to include a variety of programs and a 125-person staff.

Arloa holds a doctorate in ministry from the Bakke Graduate University and a master’s degree in urban mission from Lincoln Christian Seminary. She is also the author of The Invisible: How the Church Can Find and Serve the Least of These.

Arloa has left a meaningful legacy of compassion and of dignity and respect for all. Her impact has been recognized by WGN, the Chicago Blackhawks, and several elected officials. Today, she resides in East Garfield Park and remains an important part of the Breakthrough family.

Arloa was Breakthrough’s Executive Director from its inception in 1992 until April 1, 2021.


Arloa founded Breakthrough in 1992 and has seen the vision for Breakthrough through.

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Arloa led the staff and mission of Breakthrough for nearly 30 years.


Arloa has left a legacy of compassion and of dignity and respect for all.

Our Founder