Franciscan House of Mary & Joseph ~
an emergency overnight shelter with 257 beds
Imagine yourself in downtown Chicago in the middle of Winter.
It's 33 degrees outside and the snowfall from a few days ago has turned to slush. It's 4:30 p.m. and people are just starting to come out of the office buildings to make their way home. Imagine yourself walking down Michigan Avenue, looking… click here to read the rest of this story .
Franciscan House of Mary & Joseph is an emergency overnight shelter. Every night of the year, we are able to accommodate 209 men and 37 women. In 2012, we provided:
soup and a sandwich,
We also provided visits by medical personnel, visits by mental health outreach workers, and a limited amount of emergency clothing. We served an estimated 1,714 different individuals at our shelter last year.
We provide all of our guests with
We operate on a first-come, first-served basis. However, we allow a limited number of our regular guests a reserved bed and a locker.
Even though we provided over 85,087 shelter nights last year, we had to turn a person away 1,980 times because we were filled to capacity. These were mostly persons who has already stood in line for an hour or so! We would prefer not to have to turn anyone away, but turning away this many breaks our hearts!
We view ourselves as meeting the emergency needs of the homeless population as well as being a point of entry for them into a wide variety of services that can help them change their lives for the better. Case managers, mental health workers, and medical personnel meet with our guests and help them find whatever they need to build a better life for themselves. RUSH Community Services Initiative Program and Heartland Health Outreach operate medical clinics for our guests.
We are assisted by several full-time volunteers who live at the Marquard Center. We are always looking for full-time volunteers who can spend one year working directly with the homeless and helping us do this good work.
We also need two or three part-time volunteers every night. Volunteers serve soup and sandwiches, hand out towels, and clean up in the kitchen afterwards. To read more about volunteering at the shelter, see our Volunteer at the Shelter page.
Our shelter is located at 2715 W. Harrison Street in Chicago. We are just East of California and two streets South of the I-290 Expressway. Parking is available on the street, but don't come for a visit without an appointment because we only answer the door at certain times. For a map to the shelter, click here.
Correspondence, donations, and requests for further information should be directed to our administrative offices at 1645 W. LeMoyne, Chicago, IL 60622, (773) 278-6724. For email addresses, see our Contact Us page.
We accept donations of soap, shampoo, deodorant, and a wide variety of other items that the men and women who stay with us need, other than clothes. We don't usually accept clothes since our case managers provide vouchers for non-profit clothing distributors. For a list of the items we need most, check out our Wish List.
Monetary donations that can be used wherever they are needed are most helpful to us. To donate now, click here.