Doris and Stan Michalek opened the original St. Francis House in Tacoma in 1970. The Pierce County Action Agency contacted the Michaleks in 1974 about opening a Puyallup location. The Tacoma house eventually closed in 1994, however, since its creation the Puyallup St. Francis House has stood and served the Puyallup area to this day.
The goal of St. Francis House organizers is to help those in need get back on their feet. Having been expanded in 2000, the clothing bank for St. Francis House facilitates the donation of gently used clothes to registered families in need on a monthly basis. Similarly, the furniture bank distributes household items to families that would otherwise have to do everything on the floor.
Both of these services are constantly seeking donations. St. Francis House is home to a number of volunteer opportunities. Workers for the banks, office assistants, special event helpers and seasonal workers are in constant demand.
On the food front, St. Francis House provides meals for local needy families every weeknight. The house carries its own storage of non-perishable foods in an emergency bank that can be given out to help families waiting for other local food banks. The Saint Francis food banks are constantly seeking donations and volunteers.
St. Francis offers an English language learners and back-to-school program. The English course caters to Hispanic citizens seeking to learn English to increase their employability. The back to school program hosts a school supply drive to get children the supplies they need to learn.
Having originally been a clothing bank, the St. Francis House has spent years gathering funding and adding even more programs to help the needy. Now moving into the third phase of their three-part funding campaign, the St. Francis House has more plans.
St. Francis is currently involved in the Lifting Up Our Neighbors campaign, which is a $2 million project aimed at the renovation of the current facility to meet greater population needs, the expansion of service programs and the creation of a reserve fund. St. Francis has already reached half its goals. An additional $1 million yet waits to be raised.
This additional funding would lead to the Center for Compassionate Services, which would bring in partners to offer a number of things to the community including job training, financial education, language help, domestic violence aid, parenting skills, nutrition classes and more, all free of charge.
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