Director’s Message: Fall 2012

Dear Friends,

Most of us think of Labor Day as our last chance for a barbeque or trip to the beach before the new school year starts and the warm days of summer give way to hectic fall schedules. Yet the holiday actually celebrates something far more important: the dignity and value of work.

Our country was built – literally – by millions of people who worked hard to provide food, clothing, and shelter for themselves and their families. Having a job meant sufficiency for today and opportunities for tomorrow. And as people used their skills and talents, they built a better community and a stronger nation.

The same is true today. Work opens doors and allows people to pursue their dreams. That’s what’s so extraordinary about St. Francis House: We empower our guests to create a happy, satisfying life filled with the same joys and challenges you and I face every day.

I can’t possibly count the many success stories St. Francis House has seen over the years. One woman works in a coffee shop while she earns a college degree. Another runs a large department in a major retail store. One man is a manager in the IT firm that resolves all of St. Francis House’s computer problems. These people are valued employees, and unless they told you their personal stories, you’d never know they were once homeless.

I want that outcome for every guest of St. Francis House, because homelessness should be just a temporary chapter, not a lifetime sentence. Every guest should feel the pride and satisfaction that Rodney describes in his powerful story.

Rodney struggled for years until he entered our Sullivan Family Moving Ahead Program, which prepares guests to enter the workforce. Today, Rodney assists patients in the same hospital where my best friend is recuperating. He could be one of her caretakers. Or he might help someone in your family.

And now that MAP has expanded, we can help double the number of students – 200 a year – pursue the American dream.

Stories like Rodney’s make me so deeply grateful for the unwavering support of you, our loyal contributors. You understood the needs of our guests, and your generosity made the MAP expansion possible. Thank you for investing in human potential.

Happy Labor Day.

Sincerely,

Karen LaFrazia
Executive Director