about us

Learn about the rich history that has made us who we are today.

In 1987, two Sisters of St. Francis sought to address the needs of homeless families. The Sisters established the shelter as a non-profit organization governed by a volunteer Advisory Board.

Guided by the Gospel and the spirit of Saints Francis and Claire of Assissi, their mission was to:

  • Provide a safe, peaceful, temporary refuge for homeless families
  • Create a community environment
  • Foster dignity and independence

They searched for a place to locate a shelter. A friend of theirs happened to be the pastor at St. Mary’s Parish on the north side of Phoenixville, and he invited them to use the convent building for their purposes if the Parish Council agreed. The Sisters met with the Council and were welcomed to use the building rent-free as a shelter for families. The building was dedicated on October 25, 1987, and the first family arrived to stay on November 19, 1987. Since then, over 700 families have been guests at the shelter.

From the beginning, the Sisters enlisted the aid of the neighboring parishes to assist them in feeding their guests, and soon Churches of all denominations joined in the effort to provide support for the Shelter. In a like manner, volunteers came to help the Sisters in their ministry.

In the years since 1987, the Shelter has provided more than 120,000 nights of shelter and 345,000 meals. In 2015, the shelter was divested from the Sisters of St. Francis, who remain active supporters, advisors, and members of the Board of Directors.