December 21st Marks National Homeless Memorial Day

St. Francis House

Even when the dark comes crashing through
When you need a friend to carry you
And when you’re broken on the ground
You will be found…

This past summer I saw Dear Evan Hansen, a beautiful, tragic, yet ultimately redemptive musical about the ripple effects of a young man’s death. The show’s music is gorgeous, particularly a song called “You Will be Found” about the despair of feeling invisible and that universal desire to be seen, heard and known. That last stanza could be the theme song for St. Francis House.

On this National Homeless Memorial Day, as we acknowledge all who passed away while homeless, we have a moral obligation to ensure our fellow community members are finally found.

There are a million reasons people get lost — childhood trauma, addiction, mental illness, poverty. But the big difference between many of us and our guests is that we’ve had a safety net when things have fallen apart — and they have not. We must be their safety net.

Last year we served 6,800 unique individuals – 2,100 for the very first time. The amazing thing about St. Francis House is that even though we serve 500 people a day, when a guest walks in the front door they immediately feel welcome. They know they will find what they need to comfort the pain of being homeless and to move beyond.

As significant as our current work is, it is not enough.

With your help St. Francis House is making life saving investments in our community. In addition to all we do at 39 Boylston Street, the redevelopment of 48 Boylston Street will create 46 units of affordable housing, a social enterprise to enhance our Workforce Development program and with the relocation of our administrative offices, we’ll open up much needed space for a Recovery Center at 39 Boylston Street.

On this day, as we acknowledge all the lives lost, we must also recognize the impact you, and our community as a whole, are creating for so many individuals presently experiencing homelessness as they rebuild their lives and find their own pathways to stability and housing. By making sure no one is ever forgotten, our fellow community members are finally found.

-Karen LaFrazia
President & CEO, St. Francis House