A beautiful day for an annual event at the Denver Botanic Gardens for the “Gala at the Gardens,” the annual signature fundraiser benefiting the Saint Francis Center (SFC). The non-profit provides a refuge for men and women who are homeless in the metro Denver area, providing services to help transition out of homelessness.

Emcee Chris Parente thanked sponsors and guests for their support. Volunteer recognition this year went to Phil Tompkins with a Story of Connection featuring Tamika Chapman of SFC Employment Services.The St. Francis Center (SFC) strives to create a more just, diverse, equitable, and inclusive society for community members who experience homelessness. In their core values SFC aspires to: A Community of Peace and Hope, Quality and Professionalism, Safety and Wellness, Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, and recognizing and addressing the emerging needs of our community through their services.

Emcee Chris Parente thanked guests for supporting the St. Francis Center mission

The history of the organization includes several growth periods in the Denver metro region. The St. Francis Center, a ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado, was established in June 1983 and operated from a leased building on 22nd & Lawrence streets in downtown Denver. This building quickly proved to be inadequate for the growing homeless population, and, in 1986, through a generous donation, SFC was able to purchase and renovate the 2323 Curtis Street site where the non-profit calls home today.

In 1992, SFC incorporated as a non-profit organization. Tom Luehrs became Executive Director in 1993. The Housing Program was initiated in 2001 with construction on the Cornerstone Residences beginning in October 2008. Fifty residents are now living in the apartments, including some housed for the first time in many years.

St. Francis Center Executive Director Tom Luehrs and Laura

In 2012, SFC took over the Turnabout program, and the Employment Program helps ex-offenders, a vulnerable part of the population who are homeless, and connects those it serves with full-time, permanent employment.

Another permanent supportive housing program, Saint Francis Apartments at Cathedral Square, was built and opened in 2018, through collaboration with other community partners. St. Francis Apartments at Cathedral Square offers 50 units of permanent supportive, affordable housing for individuals who were previously experiencing homelessness.

Michelle and Juan participated in the ring toss

To donate, volunteer or to get more information please visit the SFC web site at www.sfcdenver.org

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