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Homelessness/Affordable Housing Efforts

As followers of St. Francis, we are called to stand in solidarity with those made poor and homeless. With so many in our world today living on the streets or facing foreclosures, the prospect of working to help meet that breadth of need is daunting. We can draw inspiration and courage from words attributed to St. Francis: “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”

Take a look at the educational and formative programs, advocacy efforts and direct service work going on in Holy Name Province ministries to assist those made homeless.

To add to the list, contact Fran Eskin-Royer in Holy Name Province’s Office for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation.

Education

educationEfforts that form and inform us to better address the needs of people and/or creation


EDUCATION AROUND ISSUES OF POVERTY AND HOMELESSNESS

St. Francis Inn 
Philadelphia, Pa.
The staff provides education around issues of poverty and homelessness to volunteers. 
Contact: Br. Ramon Razon, OFM and Kelly Canning - 215-423-5845


SERVICE TRIPS TO ST. FRANCIS INN

Siena College 
Loudonville, N.Y.
Students volunteer at the St. Francis Inn in Philadelphia, helping to meet the immediate daily needs of the poor and homeless in the Kensington neighborhood with food, clothing and hospitality. The students also learn about the overarching issues of homelessness and poverty, both through their volunteer experiences and through discussions with the Inn staff. 
Contact: Judy Dougherty

Advocacy

advocacyEfforts that use community organizing and/or dialogue with local and national officials to address the needs of people and/or creation


"CONTINUUM OF CARE" INITIATIVE

St. Francis of Assisi Parish
Triangle, Va.
A group of Prince William County non-profits, Continuum of Care, organized to draft a plan to end homelessness in Prince William County by 2020; the parish is a part of and supports this effort.
Contact: Fr. John O'Connor, OFM

CONGREGATIONS FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE

St. Francis of Assisi Parish 
Raleigh, N.C.
This interfaith social justice-focused group of religious and community leaders is committed to advocating for public policies that create a better Raleigh for all people. As one of the group’s three areas of focus, participating members are committed to working on issues of homelessness/affordable housing. St. Francis of Assisi is the only Catholic Church involved in the effort.
Contact: Congregations for Social Justice or Trevor Thmopson 


VIRGINIANS ORGANIZED FOR INTERFAITH COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT (VOICE)

St. Francis of Assisi Parish
Triangle, Va.
Founded in 2008, VOICE is a non-partisan coalition of almost 50 Northern Virginia faith communities and civic organizations working together in middle and low-income areas of the state. VOICE organizes in Prince William, Fairfax, and Arlington counties, as well as in the City of Alexandria. The independent organization unites people across lines of race, class, religion, political party, and geography to take action on key community issues, including, but not limited to, affordable housing, access to health and dental care, and immigration. St. Francis of Assisi Parish has actively participated in VOICE since its inception, and is one of the founding member congregations.
Contact:  Fr. John O'Connor, OFM

Direct Service

serviceEfforts that work to address the immediate needs of people and/or creation


CATHERINE’S PLACE

St. Patrick-St. Anthony Parish 
Hartford, Conn.
Transitional housing for women in recovery. To learn more about the effort from the parish website, click here. 
Contact: Trudi White


CIRCLES OF SUPPORT

Immaculate Conception Parish
Durham , N.C.
Volunteers participated in two Circles of Support for two families transitioning from homelessness to permanent housing in 2014.  This ministry is funded and organized to serve two more families in the coming year.  Altogether, ministry volunteers provided approximately 300 hours of support for these families.
Contact: Bob Zozus 


CLEAN START

St. Mary of the Angels Parish 
Anderson , S.C.
Supported by the Catholic Extension Society, the “Clean Start” ministry provides facilities where homeless men and women can bathe while volunteers launder their clothes.  
Contact: Norene Smith 


DROP-IN SHELTER

St. Francis of Assisi Parish
Triangle, Va.
The Bill Mehr Drop-In Shelter opened in 2002. Its purpose is to provide the chronically homeless a place where basic physical needs, such as food, showers, clothing, tents, blankets, etc. can be provided. St. Francis of Assisi Parish supports the drop-in shelter all year-round. Parishioners provide dinner from October through March and provide breakfast from April through September.
Contact: Francia Salguero


FAMILY PROMISE

St. Mary of the Angels Parish
Anderson, S.C.
Family Promise is a nonprofit organization committed to helping low-income families achieve lasting independence. Since the problem of poverty is complex, it won’t yield to a simple solution or a quick fix. It requires an integrated approach that begins with meeting immediate needs but reaches much further to help people achieve independence and to alleviate the root causes of poverty. Family Promise’s strategy is to focus its efforts on five programs that work together in a holistic, integrated approach: 1) Interfaith Hospitality Network; 2)Family Mentoring; 3) Just Neighbors; 4) Community Initiatives; and 5) Voices Uniting. Because the five programs support one another, each of them is far more effective than it could be alone.
Contact: Pati Brosche

 

St. Francis of Assisi Parish
Long Beach Township, N.J.
St. Francis is part of the Family Promise network that provides temporary housing to homeless families.  The parish works in cooperation with Maris Stella Retreat Center in Harvey Cedars.  The retreat center provides the space for the guests and the Parish community provides the volunteers meals and overnight assistance.
Contact:  


FRANCISCAN CENTER FOR URBAN MINISTRY

St. Patrick-St. Anthony Parish 
Hartford, Conn.
Serving the poor and homeless in the city of Hartford. For information from the parish website, click here. 
Contact: Franciscan Urban Center at St. Patrick-St. Anthony Parish 


FURNITURE SUPPORT

Immaculate Conception Parish
Durham , N.C.
The Furniture Project of Durham, a program of Immaculate Conception, seeks to provide donated furniture freely to families and individuals entering into homes after being homeless, as well as low income families who have suffered catastrophic loss of furniture with the aim of helping keep them stably housed.
Contact: Bob Zozus


HABITAT FOR HUMANITY

Immaculate Conception Parish 
Durham, N.C.
Parishioners help construct new homes for those who need them.
Contact: Bob Wiethe


HABITAT FOR HUMANITY – MONTGOMERY COUNTY HABITAT

St. Camillus Parish 
Silver Spring, Md. 
A construction effort focused in the local Montgomery County Maryland area. For information about the parish effort, click here. 
Contact: Ed Kelly


ST. FRANCIS BUILDS

St. Camillus Parish 
Silver Spring, Md. 
St. Francis Builds is a Franciscan retreat experience fused with a Habitat for Humanity overseas building experience.  To learn more about the effort from the parish website, click here. 
Contacts: 


HOPE TEAMS – BECOME FRIENDS WITH SOMEONE WHO IS HOMELESS

St. Francis Springs Prayer Center 
Stoneville, N.C.
Two “Hope Teams,” made up of volunteers from the Prayer Center, provide friendship and support to two people who are transitioning out of homelessness. 
Contact: Frank Massey


HOUSING INITIATIVE

St. Anthony of Padua Parish 
Greenville, S.C.
This ministry works to provide affordable housing within the community to help keep those who are poor from being pushed out by local “improvement efforts.” Participants in this ministry help acquire homes, renovate and rebuild homes, and assist in maintaining the characteristics of the neighborhood. As of January 2015, the ministry rents out nine houses at below fair market value to persons in the community who would be considered among the “working poor.” The ministry is constructing another two homes and the group continues to work with the Upstate Homeless Coalition as a partner in obtaining affordable housing for members of the community who are poor.
Contact: Julia Mullen


INTERFAITH HOSPITALITY NETWORK OF ATHENS, INC.

Catholic Center at University of Georgia 
Athens, Ga.
The Catholic Center at the University of Georgia is a support congregation of the Interfaith Hospitality Network of Athens, Inc. IHNA is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to provide immediate shelter and guidance to homeless families with children, due to the impact of misfortunes upon their lives. Once accepted in the program, IHNA provides food, shelter, daycare, and transportation. IHNA helps to create structure out of chaos by creating a goal-oriented plan so those desperately in need can focus beyond daily survival to a life of stability. 
Contact: Ginny Lynch


INTERFAITH HOSPITALITY NETWORK

Immaculate Conception Parish 
Durham, N.C.
The parish is part of this network that provides emergency housing for homeless families at local Durham places of worship. For more information from the parish’s website, click here and locate the listing in the Direct Service section.
 

As part of our IHN ministry, the parish now has a “Circles of Support” comprised of parishioners who work with a homeless family transitioning into permanent housing. Rather than providing financial assistance, they provide support such as advocacy in the schools, rides to appointments for mothers and/or children, etc. 
Contact: Patricia Basta or Catherine Pleil


WAKE INTERFAITH HOSPITALITY NETWORK

St. Francis of Assisi Parish 
Raleigh, N.C.
As part of its mission to help homeless families achieve independent living, the community provides food to them in times of transition and need.  For information from the parish website, click here. 
Contact: Ron Smith


KEROSENE VOUCHERS

St. Anthony of Padua Parish 
Greenville, S.C.
During the cold months, each Wednesday from 9 – 11 a.m., persons may come to the parish office and request a voucher for kerosene. Those who participate are asked to limit requests to once every three months so that the resource can be shared widely.
Contact: Mary Corner


MINISTRY TO THE HOMELESS

St. Paul Parish
Wilmington, Del.
Every three months, the parish provides a “Day for the Homeless, which offers a hot meal, a hot shower, a free haircut, and clothing to homeless men and women in the community. Typically, about 50 people take advantage of the opportunity.  While the parish has provided the hospitality on a quarterly basis, they may increase its offering to monthly. 
Contact: Deacon Angel Rivera at 302-655-6596


PARTNERSHIP WITH THE HOUSE OF BREAD

St. Patrick-St. Anthony Parish 
Hartford, Conn.
St. Patrick – St. Anthony Church works in partnership with The House of Bread to deliver nutrition, housing, education and employment services to the poor. For information from the parish’s website, click here.
Contact: Fr. Thomas Gallagher, OFM


PASSAGE HOME

St. Francis of Assisi Parish 
Raleigh, N.C.
Passage Home is a nationally recognized faith-based nonprofit community development corporation that fights poverty and homelessness by strengthening families and neighborhoods.  As a community partner, St. Francis of Assisi supports Passage Home financially and provides volunteers for projects throughout the year.
Contact: Peg Cavender


RELOCATION MINISTRY/MIGRATION RELIEF SERVICES

St. Francis of Assisi Parish
Triangle, Va.
St. Francis of Assisi Parish has helped to (and continues to help) resettle families as the need arises.
Contact: Fr. John O’Connor, OFM


ST. FRANCIS INN

St. Francis Inn 
Philadelphia, Pa.
This Franciscan, Eucharistic community is called to minister with the poor and homeless of Philadelphia. Formed in the spirit of the Gospel and inspired by the life and compassion of Francis and Clare of Assisi, those who staff the Inn try to meet the immediate daily needs of the people served with food, clothing and hospitality.

Furthermore, they empower persons to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty and address structural injustices. The staff seeks to build relationships with those that they serve by respecting their human dignity and by helping them to restore hope in their lives, and by living simply among them.

Open since December 1979, the Inn staff has served a meal every day since then.  A breakfast of hot or cold cereal or pastries is offered three days a week, and a sit-down meal in the dining room every day. Typically, the staff serves over 350 meals a day. Meals at the Inn are unique  in that they are served restaurant-style; guests don’t walk through a line to get their food, volunteers serve them at their tables.  
Contact: Fr. Michael Duffy, OFM – 215-423-5845


ST. FRANCIS INN VISITS

St. Francis of Assisi Parish
Raleigh, N.C.
Delegations of four to six St. Francis parishioners travel to Philadelphia four times each year to participate in the St. Francis Inn ministry  (see entry above).
Contact: Trevor Thompson


STREET MINISTRY TO THE HOMELESS (BREAD ON THE COMMON)

St. Anthony Shrine & Ministry Center 
Boston, Mass.
All are invited to be part of a ministry to homeless persons on the streets and nearby the Shrine on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month. Participants meet in the auditorium of the Shrine at 5:45 p.m., prepare food packets (home-made sandwiches — peanut butter & jelly and meat & cheese — water, chips, cookies, candy/gum), pray together, and then visit with homeless persons on the streets, offering food, socks, and presence. The evening concludes by 7:30 p.m.  Once a year, the parish hosts a drive for new socks and hats/scarves/gloves.
Contact: 


THE BIGGER VISION OF ATHENS, INC.

Catholic Center at University of Georgia 
Athens, Ga.
The Catholic Center at the University of Georgia is a support congregation of The Bigger Vision of Athens Homeless Winter Shelter.  Its mission is to provide the individual who is temporarily homeless a warm, dry place to sleep each night on a first-come, first-served basis, offering assistance as needed to help people get back on their feet. 
Contact: Maria Doerr 706-247-0511 


UNSHELTERED HOMELESS COALITION (UHC)

St. Francis of Assisi Parish 
Triangle, Va.
In 2014, a group of churches and homeless outreach organizations decided to join together to to help limit homelessness in the greater Woodbridge, Va, and Dale City, Va. areas.  St. Francis of Assisi Parish supports UHC with supplies and financial assistance to provide resources such as clothing and fuel, as well as financial assistance.
Contact:  Francis Salguero


 WINTER SHELTER

St. Francis of Assisi Parish 
Triangle, Va.
The parish supports the efforts of the Prince William County Winter Shelter, open Nov. 1 to March 31 from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., which provides shelter to those that are homeless during the cold months. The parish community provides dinner every Saturday night.
Contact: Fr. John O’Connor, OFM