St. Mary’s Franciscan Shelter

Serving Homeless Families for 36 years!

Welcome to St. Mary’s

A Safe Place Along the Journey Home

Our mission is to create a safe, peaceful, community environment for homeless families. We foster dignity and independence through supportive programming developed with local agencies and ecumenical organizations.

“I call on everyone…to do everything they can to assure that every family has a place to live.”

– Pope Francis

Journeys of Hope and Perseverance


April made the decision to come to Saint Mary’s directly from the rehabilitation Center as she knew to get back on her feet, she needed great strength and security. Every decision that April made, was based on her goal… creating a better life for her son. 

Read Her Story


Ray and his son Ray (JuJu), as he is called by his Dad, came to St. Mary’s in November. Ray’s primary concern was to take care of his son. We were delighted to welcome this single father who from our first meeting was a loving, caring parent who put his son above all else.

Read Their Story


Ms K was, self admittedly, tired of living on the edge. So one day she went looking for help and ended up in Gaudenzia. At Gaudenzia she received 7 months treatment for her drug habit and after completing the program she came to St Mary’s Shelter to travel down the next leg of her journey, being independent and preparing to live on her own.

Read Her Story

 Tina and daughter

Tina had a full-time job at a fast food restaurant and she was renting a room with her two children. Everything was going well until her landlord passed away and the house went for foreclosure. She couldn’t afford any other apartment in the area with the limited time and her limited earning.

Read Her Story


The Work of St. Mary’s

Over 60% of our residents have jobs at departure. Only 18% have jobs when they arrive.

Nearly 40% of our residents find homes. The national average for home placement is 12%.

Of Chester County’s approximately 100 homeless families, we serve over 25%.

st francis

“It is in giving that we receive.”

– St. Francis of Assisi

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Winter 2023 Newsletter

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