Please read Morgan’s story of hopelessness and, finally, courage…and how you can help provide food, shelter and hope to her this Easter!
Around 4:30 a.m. on a recent and particularly cold winter morning, our women’s program manager, Patty, was just arriving to work. Walking into the shelter, Patty noticed a car parked by our front gate, with a young woman sitting in it. The woman’s head was resting on the steering wheel. The temperature was a few degrees above zero.
Knowing something was definitely wrong, Patty tapped on the car’s window. Startled, the cold and sleepy woman rolled down the window. She said her name was Morgan and she had driven to the Siena Francis House…fleeing from an alcoholic and physically abusive spouse a few hours before. Of course, Patty immediately brought her into the shelter. It was easy to see that Morgan had left home quickly – not only was she not wearing a coat, she also wasn’t wearing shoes.
Because all of our shelter beds were full, Patty moved a mat and some bedding into a meeting room. She let Morgan get some much-needed sleep for as long as she wanted. After Morgan woke, our staff got her something to eat (and a pair of shoes!) and learned how and why Morgan ended up at the Siena Francis House Homeless Shelter.
For over three years, Morgan had lived in terror with a bully and brute of a man who regularly took his anger out on her in his drunken rages. Morgan was unable to protect herself and had sometimes even wondered if her very life was in danger. The often daily routine of physical abuse would start about 2 hours after the bars closed and last until he passed out.
There was hardly any money for food or clothes and, God forbid, if she got sick and needed medical attention – this would make her husband mad. Morgan had been trying to leave him for nearly a year, although her controlling husband prevented her time and again.
The previous night, Morgan and her husband had been arguing about his excessive drinking – an argument they’d had many times before. As often happened in these arguments, her husband’s anger turned physical. He pushed Morgan – hard – and she fell backward, onto their glass coffee table. The shattered glass angered him even more. Her husband came at Morgan again and began choking her. She got away, but when he picked up a knife, Morgan grabbed her car keys, ran out of their apartment and sped away.
Not having any idea where she was going, and having no family in the small town they lived in, Morgan stopped at a convenience store. The clerk had heard of the Siena Francis House in Omaha, looked us up online, and gave Morgan our address and phone number. Morgan drove the hour and a half to get to our shelter – arriving around 1:30 a.m. – parking right outside our women’s facility. Three hours later, our women’s program manager found Morgan asleep in her car and brought her into the warmth and safety of the Siena Francis House Homeless Shelter.
Because Morgan had fled with nothing other than what she was wearing, our staff took her into our clothing room right away. Since that time, we’ve made sure Morgan has the basic things she needs – food, additional clothing, personal care items, and especially safety and security. Morgan is one of the nearly 500 individuals experiencing homelessness who are staying with us, and her story is heartbreaking.
I had a chance to meet and chat with Morgan, who told me how grateful she is to be able to temporarily stay at the Siena Francis House. She also told me, in no uncertain terms, “I’m never going back (to her abuser) – NEVER!”
Please know how grateful I am to be able to be part of an organization which exists to help people in their time of need, like Morgan. We are currently helping Morgan find appropriate housing outside our shelter. Until such time, please also know that I fully appreciate the fact that the Siena Francis House is only able to provide our services to her and other individuals experiencing homelessness because of the generosity of so many kind and caring persons from our community, like you. Your support makes a real difference to the Siena Francis House, and especially to the people we serve.
Will you please consider making a gift to the Siena Francis House at this time? Please click HERE to make an online gift through our secure website. Your donation will help care for Morgan and so many others like her. Unfortunately, Morgan’s story is not all that uncommon. We truly need your help to provide food, shelter, clothing and refuge to the many hundreds of hungry and homeless persons who daily show up at our door, in their time of need.
Please know how grateful I am 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 made 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.
We are in our busiest time of the year. Many hundreds of cold and hungry people seek food and shelter each and every day. Please click HERE to make your gift today through our secure website today; I would be so grateful.
Thank you and God bless you. I wish you a very happy Easter!
P.S. Please send your Easter gift today to help provide life’s most critical services to persons like Morgan. Our house is always open because of generous and caring people who send gifts for their food, shelter, clean clothes and safety.
Gifts to Siena Francis House are used to provide food, clothing, shelter, 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 not rented, shared, or exchanged with other organizations. If you wish to be removed from our mailing list, please send written request to Siena Francis House. The stories in our letters are real. Identifying details have been changed and file photos may be used 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.