Community Blog

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A Few Words about our Food Pantry 

April 25, 2023

On Wednesday and Saturday 9AM-11AM we host our ‘Food Pantry’; providing food, clothing and hygiene products to an average of 40-50 neighborhood families. Our Food Pantry is led by Shawn, Terry, Margie, Bob, Rick, Fred, Patrick and Linda, and has for years been providing food, hygiene products, and clothing for hundreds of our Amphi neighbors. Our Pantry provides order sheets for guests to review, and can pick from our current inventory, allowing our guests to pick the items they prefer. This adds a special, personalized human touch to our services. For many, visiting our pantry may possibly be the only human touch they receive for the whole day. We strive to provide a bit of hospitality to all and we like to go out of our way to make their lives a little bit better, every chance we get. We welcome you to come see us on Wednesday or Saturday, and see our volunteers in action.


Please call Shawn Milligan our Director of Operations, at 520-461-4943 to plan a visit. 


Gregory Boyle, SJ, Wrap-up 

April 11, 2023

On Friday March 24th, at Sacred Heart Church, our St. Francis Shelter and Community had the pleasure of hosting an evening with Fr Gregory Boyle, SJ, founder of Homeboy Industries and author of New York Times best seller Tattoos on the Heart

Fr. G, as he is affectionately called, flew in from Los Angeles to join us for our spring fundraising event. His message of the power of compassion and the transcendence of kindness and tenderness takes us to the heart of our mission here at St. Francis Shelter. Homeboy Industries is a model for us to emulate and their success is an inspiration to us all. 

We found Fr. G to be gracious, and kind, and truly a joy to be around. His presentation was engaging and touching. His generosity of spirit is palpable, and we were treated to a special surprise as he brought two of his fellow Homeboy companions on this trip; Ociris Galicia and Desiree Nerio. Their story was forthright and courageous, speaking in front of hundreds of unfamiliar people sharing the intimacy of  their journey, from seasoned gang member to Homeboy Industries advocate, husband, and father. 

Though Fr. G spoke about his experiences surrounding Homeboy Industries and working with gang members, the thrust of his message was a call to the heart. "You must experience the tender glance of God. When you experience that glance, it will put your feet into motion to go to the margins to share God's glance with others. But don't think you're going there to change things; then it becomes about you. When you go to the margins, the people there will change you." Amen.

I wish to offer special thanks to Fr. Gonzalo Villegas, pastor of Sacred Heart Church and his entire staff for providing the very beautiful Sacred Heart Church for our event. 

Also, special thanks to our friends at Salpointe Catholic High School, whom, over the last decade have consistently and generously offered up their time and talents volunteering and collaborating with our shelter to help us make our Tucson Community a better place to live. Their exuberance is contagious and heartfelt, and we appreciate their dedication and friendship.


Sincerely,

Chuck Dunn, KM

Interim Executive Director

St. Francis Shelter



Respite, Shelter, and Nourishment

November 30, 2022

"The greatest gift one can give is thanksgiving.  In giving gift, we give what we can spare, but in giving thanks, we give ourselves.

Brother David Steindl-Rast, Gratefulness, the Heart Prayer

During this very special holiday season, I would like to give thanks to our supporters, volunteers, board members and staff.  Reflecting over the years since we established our 501c3 in early 2016, I am blessed to report that we have flourished, shaping a shelter dedicated to providing refuge and resources to those in need in our Tucson community.

I would like to highlight a few special projects that we have focused on over the years:

Our Food Pantry, led by Shawn, Terry, Margie, Bob, Rick, Fred, Patrick and Linda, has for years been providing food, hygiene products and clothing for hundreds of our neighbors. We work together with the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, including their Caridad Community Kitchen, helping to provide free food for anyone in need.


Our summer cooling shelter in conjunction with the Z Mansion, has just completed another season providing hundreds of our less fortunate neighbors a place to rest during the hot days of summer, offering shade, food, cold drinks, and medical care.

Our St. Francis Community staff has continued to provided security, maintenance, and landscaping services for Sacred Heart Catholic Church.


Bob, Margie, and Rick

Robert

We also continue to provide bridge housing for our ‘houseless’ veterans at our All-Saints House. Special thanks to Old Pueblo Community Services (OPCS) with whom we provide moving services for those receiving housing in our community.

I would like to give thanks to our Director of Operations, Shawn Milligan, for his daily kindness, dedication and focus on continuing to connect with likeminded organizations to continue to provide additional services that are desperately needed in our community.

I would like to give thanks to our amazing staff including Leo, Robert, Mike and Fred. These compassionate men are the backbone of our shelter, and their daily efforts make the St. Francis Shelter successful.

I am grateful also to Carl Zawatski, whose is enjoying a much-needed sabbatical, for his vision. Carl pointed us in the direction to do the work that really makes our community a better place.


I am especially grateful to Brother David Buer, OFM, who in his Franciscan spirit reminds us daily of the importance of human dignity of each person.

Our future is bright with new projects in the works including our fundraising to purchase mobile showers and provide convenient opportunities for those who live on our streets to take a hot shower.


Chuck Dunn and Brother David

Chuck Dunn, Richard Rohr, and Carl Zawatski

As always, it is because of your support that we can continue forward in our ministry to the poor and the hungry and try our best to make our Tucson Community a better place.

With your support we can continue to flourish.

I ask that you please take a moment to donate either via PayPal.  Please use the link to our "Donate" page listed on the navigation bar at the top of the page, or send a check to:

Remember, St Francis Shelter is an AZ Qualified Charitable Organization, so your donation is eligible for an AZ Tax Credit – Tax Credits are a way for Arizona taxpayers to direct their taxes to causes that are important to them.

Blessings to you and yours,

Charles ‘Chuck’ Dunn, KM

“Interim” Executive Director


St. Francis Shelter Thanks You!