St. Francis House has been located on Washington St. in St. Augustine for more than 30 years. However, the current program bears little resemblance to what it was even 5 years ago. The agency was originally created as a soup kitchen and then a night shelter. That model proved itself to do little more than fill a tummy and provide temporary shelter. It does not solve homelessness. Today, St. Francis is not a shelter, but a housing-focused PROGRAM – a Housing Crisis Center! The residential program accommodates 16 men, 12 women and 4 families.
Planning for the future starts the day an individual or family enters the housing crisis program. While part of the program, guests’ basic needs are met giving them the opportunity to engage in housing-focused case management that links them to appropriate services to ensure success. Through Individual Development Plans, case managers help guests focus on solutions, not just basic needs. Families receive specific, assistance to ensure that children’s education is not interrupted, and stability of the family unit is maintained.
At St. Francis Housing Crisis Center we always remember that the solution to homelessness is housing! In 2017, our housing-focused programs helped 210 households achieve permanent housing.