A job loss and a new baby were a tough combination for a local family…one that ultimately brought them to the Siena/Francis House shelter, hungry and homeless.
The kids pictured at right – 6-week-old James, 5-year-old Jacob, and 2-year-old Jenny – are the children of a young couple, Henry and Mary, who’d been renting a small old house since they were married eight years ago. For the past five years, Henry worked as a laborer at a nearby commercial salvage company. It was tough work, although Henry was grateful to be able to support his growing family. Mary was a stay-at-home mom.
Early last summer – while Mary was three months pregnant with their third child – the company Henry worked for downsized its labor force. Even though Henry worked there a number of years, he was one of the last employees hired and, thus, one of the first to be let go. Right after being let go at the salvage yard, Henry applied for other jobs. After a few months of looking for work, Henry was discouraged at being repeatedly turned down. Bills piled up. Their landlord began proceedings to evict this young family for non-payment of rent.
Just before they were evicted, some family friends told Henry and Mary that they could move the family into a spare bedroom of theirs. Not having any other option, Henry and Mary accepted. Mary was then seven months pregnant. They all lived there together until mid-December, when Mary gave birth to James.
The addition of James made an already overcrowded house even fuller. Not long after James was born, their friends politely let Henry and Mary know that they would need to make plans to move out. They had realized their smallish house just wasn’t big enough for them and for this growing family.
Still trying to help, their friends made a discreet call to the Siena/Francis House, asking if we had room for this family of five. As is always the case, our shelter was terribly overcrowded. Regardless, we moved some guests around and made room for Henry, Mary, Jacob, Jenny and 6-week-old James.
Since the day they arrived, I’m grateful this young family has enough to eat, clothes to wear, and a safe and secure place to temporarily call home. We even contacted a local restaurant and helped Henry obtain a job there as a dishwasher. He’s still looking for a better paying job, and hopes to save up enough to move the family back into a rental unit. Our staff is assisting them with this process.
As the days and nights get colder, more and more hungry and desperate families find themselves on our doorstep, in need of food and shelter. Last night, well over 500 men, women and children stayed overnight at Siena/Francis House, thankful for a hot meal and a place to sleep, away from the bitter cold.
Will you please consider making a gift to the Siena/Francis House Homeless Shelter at this time? Please click HERE to make an online gift through our secure website.
Your donation will help care for Henry, Mary, James, Jacob and Jenny. Stories like theirs are not uncommon. Henry, Mary and the kids really had nowhere else to turn. The Siena/Francis House tries to never turn anyone away, and we are dedicated to providing life’s basic necessities to the tremendous number of homeless families and individuals who come to us seeking assistance.
Henry and Mary continually share with me and my staff how much they appreciate everything their family has received since arriving at our shelter. I remind them that our services are only possible because of the support from caring people who share our mission of helping those in need.
Please click HERE to make your gift today through our secure website today. We truly need your help to provide food, shelter, clothing and safety to the more than 500 hungry and homeless persons show up at our door every day.
Please know how grateful we are to you for helping the Siena/Francis House provide these basic human services to the poor and homeless when they have nowhere else to turn. Please also know that these services are only possible because of your generous financial support. Nearly all of the contributions to our homeless shelter come from compassionate members of our community, like you.
God bless you for your sustained support, and I wish you well during these cold winter months.
P.S. We are in our busiest time of the year. Many hundreds of cold, hungry and homeless families and individuals seek food, shelter and safety here every day. Please consider making a gift to the Siena/Francis House Homeless Shelter right away, as our organization exists and operates almost entirely on charitable donations.
Gifts to Siena/Francis House are used to provide food, shelter, clothing, and care of the people who turn to us during their hour of need, and are greatly appreciated. All of our services are provided at no cost to our guests. All gifts to Siena/Francis House are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. Our audited financial statements are freely available by writing to Siena/ Francis House, P.O. Box 217 DTS – Omaha, Nebraska – 68101. Our donor information is kept in strict confidence; our donor lists are never rented, shared, or exchanged with other organizations. The stories in our letters are real. Identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy and therapeutic interest of our guests. For more information about Siena/Francis House or to include us in your estate planning, please contact Siena/Francis House Development Director, Tim Sully at (402) 341-1821.