We are excited to share with you that this year, our club has decided to support St. Francis Shelter. This deserving organization has been quietly serving the Salem community for years, and we think it’s time to recognize that and provide some support. Learn a bit more about the St. Francis Shelter and the playground project we’re helping to support by reading this short summary from their Executive Director, Kim Lemman.
“Since 1987, St. Francis Shelter has provided transitional housing and life skills support to help homeless families in Marion and Polk counties return to self-sufficiency. Although our program was named for the well-known saint who worked tirelessly for the poor, we are not affiliated with any religion or religious organization.
St. Francis is located in a quiet neighborhood in southeast Salem. The 20-unit apartment complex provides 15 family shelter units and 5 low-income rental units for families who have “graduated” from our program. Each family lives in a fully-furnished, self-contained, one or two-bedroom apartment.
Families work closely with our on-site case manager, as well as attend on-site classes on topics such budgeting, financial literacy, how to be a good renter, parenting and cooking. Each family participates in a mandatory monthly savings program, which they receive back, in total, when they move into their new homes. And our model works! Last fiscal year, 34 of the 33 families who lived at SFS moved into and remain in permanent housing!
The award of the Rotary of Salem Good Works Grant to build a playground at our southeast Salem facility is an amazing gift to the families who call St. Francis home. Families who come to us from domestic violence, in recovery from addiction, or from economic downturn, have been in chronic crisis. This affects children deeply. The building of a safe, developmentally appropriate, playground for our young residents, will bring much needed fresh air, fun and laughter into their young lives. We are beyond grateful to Rotary Club of Salem for giving these children the best gift they could ever get….JOY!!”