The face of homelessness is changing. It has shifted from individuals and adults to families with multiple children with nowhere to go. Families that become shell shocked when they lose their job, their car, their home.
“A lot of people have no reserve or family to fall back on, they are 30 days away from homelessness and don’t even recognize it,” said Debie Baranchulk, Francis House Center Interim Executive Director.
Francis House Center provides resources for the chronic and newly homeless, such as job development skills, acquiring proper identification, hygiene items and more. On April 24 the center will be hosting its largest fundraiser of the year – Feast for the Street – a fundraiser for any foodie.
The money raised will go toward direct services such as buss passes, obtaining identification, motel vouchers, job development and operating costs.
Transportation is a huge barrier for the homeless, according to Baranchulk. They need to get around town to receive benefits, identification for employment and resources such as food and shelter. That’s why FHC provides two all-day bus passes per week for its clients. Once a client lands a job, FHC provides a Fast Track pass to get people to and from work for the first two weeks.
Over 40 restaurants and wineries will be donating food, wine and beer to benefit Francis House Center. The fundraiser will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center, located on 6151 H Street. To purchase tickets please visit
. If you would like to donate but cannot attend please visit
Francis House Center serves 20,000 clients a year and has helped countless people turn their lives around. For example a client had been in and out of the job development program for about a year and just recently got a job as a maintenance manager and the job provides a place to live. Francis House Center helped him with his resume and how to search and apply for jobs.
“People turn their lives around when they get some encouragement. And people just looking at them eye to eye,” Baranchulk said. “They stand in line all over town and they are just a number. And when they come to us they get one-on-one counseling, someone who is really trying to help them better themselves and create a better life. Not give them just a handout but a hand up to get more permanent help instead of just a band aid.”
Francis House Center was originally created over 40 years ago by St. Francis of Assisi Parish and came out of the need of so many homeless people coming to their doors. They currently have 17 church partners and are non-denominational. Feast for the Streets was created 22 years ago and has been a popular event ever since.
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