Volunteer Stories: Bob Conlin

Bob Conlin, St. Francis House Volunteer

Meet St. Francis House Volunteer Bob Conlin

Bob Conlin associates the beginning of his time as a St. Francis House volunteer with former President Bill Clinton’s nomination. The Dorchester resident has been at it for 20 years and is SFH’s longest-serving volunteer. The father of seven says that volunteerism runs in the family, mentioning that his wife does a lot of volunteering and one of their daughters was a volunteer at the Pine Street Inn.

Born and bred in Boston, Bob has lived in Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, Roslindale, and Weymouth. He went to Boston College at night to earn his degree and spent 12 years each at The Boston Globe and Raytheon before going into the antiques business, where he worked until his retirement.
A modest man, Bob was drawn to St. Francis House not only because of the “great people” and “wonderful friendships,” but also because

“There’s a return to me, and I feel like we’re doing something half decent.”

When he’s not at St. Francis House or spending time with his large extended family, Bob might be found at the food pantry he runs for South Boston’s St. Monica Church.

While some of the friends he’s made over the years volunteering at SFH have had to stop because “they couldn’t take it physically anymore,” Bob keeps on going, traveling in from South Boston via the MBTA. He’s seen many changes over the past 20 years, including staff who have come and gone, but he has been a constant in the kitchen, serving SFH’s guests with a steady hand and a smile.