THE FRANCIS CENTER WELCOMES YOU
Find help from the Francis Center
The Francis Center is a non-profit food and clothing pantry started by Catholic Franciscan priests over 50 years ago. In the spirit of St. Francis, we strive to feed and clothe the most vulnerable in our society.
Today the lay volunteers that work at the Francis Center are from all faiths. We supply food boxes, clothing, toiletries and household goods to the community in East Multnomah County.
Whether it be homelessness, health issues, unemployment, underemployment or immigration issues, the Francis Center is there to help disadvantaged residents break the cycle of poverty and hunger. Our focus is on the vulnerable - serving the needy no matter their age, race, religion or sexual orientation.
Don joined the Francis Center with the vision and drive to improve upon our non-profit organization. He is focused on developing the organization with experience and integrity. Don uses his amazing energy to help the most vulnerable in our community.
We serve zip codes 97266, 97206, 97215, 97216.
Food boxes are available to east county residents Monday thru Thursday from 10am -2pm. Typically we provide canned goods, rice, pastas, flour, bread, beans, oatmeal, cereal, milk, yogurt, cheese, various meats (chicken, pork, beef and fish) plus an assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables. Our grocery boxes are nutritionally dense and hit all the major food groups. We politely request that visits are limited to once per month.
Clothes are available to east county residents Monday thru Thursday from 10am - 1pm. Volunteers organize and display clothing for men, women and children so clients can easily browse our selection. Typically we have coats, shirts, dresses, pants, shorts, underwear, socks, shoes, hats and belts. We also have toiletries, blankets and other miscellaneous household items available. We politely request that visits be limited to once per month for clothing.
*Covid-19 update: Due to the pandemic, clothing is only being offered as requested by our clients. Browsing inside our facility is not allowed. Upon request, we will fill your clothing needs and hand them out to minimize the spread of the coronavirus.
If you want to donate or volunteer, please give us a call during business hours.
We accept food donations from the Oregon Food Bank, USDA, Franz Bread, Dave's Killer Bread and private parties.
We accept clothing primarily from private donations. We request clothing be donated in clean and good condition - sealed in plastic bags so we can quarantine in house.
We accept cash donations primarily in the form of cash or checks. Make checks payable to Francis Center. We are moving toward accepting electronic funds via credit cards, PayPal, etc.
Volunteering is always welcome at the Francis Center. Help in all areas is needed. We currently have 45 volunteers that help serve the community.
Despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Francis Center continues to operate and serve our community. We have managed to keep our doors open. The letter below gives an update of our progress.
A LETTER FROM THE DIRECTOR
To our Francis Center Friends,
This has been an unbelievable year with many highs and lows at the Francis Center. The volunteers wanted to fill you in on what they have been doing this year. Starting with a high note, the Center received two large donations, giving us the opportunity to upgrade our buildings and buy essential equipment.
A new roof on all our structures (after 35 years)
A new 12 X 16 food storage building with commercial shelving
Rebuilt the garage into a useable space
Installed a new commercial freezer and refrigerator in the garage
Made many repairs to the outside of all the buildings
Painted the outside of all the building in a uniform and beautiful color (after 35 years)
Replaced the shrubs in the front of the Center
New mini blinds on all facility windows
A new fencing system to protect access to our food storage
We are proud that all of this has been done under budget and from the generous donations of time and resources of our volunteers and donors. Many of these improvements have given us the opportunity to expand our food offerings and procure additional food sources for lean times in the future. We feel very blessed to have such wonderful donors and are immensely proud of our Center.
On a more somber note, Covid-19 has impacted the way we serve our community. Many of our volunteers are not able to come to the Center because of personal health risks to themselves or their loved ones. For safety, we no longer allow entrance of our clients into the building. We provide the intake process from our back door and then they await their food box at the basement steps. Clothing donations and distribution have been greatly modified in accordance with CDC guidelines, but the needs of our community remain a priority. People are coming from all around Portland and no one has been turned away. We have been blessed to serve 8,495 people in the last 9 months. Thanks to all our supporters, we have had sufficient funds to meet their needs.
With the complexities of Covid-19, it is becoming increasingly difficult to procure food, especially protein and fresh fruits and vegetables. The Oregon Food Bank has been hit hard and supplies have dwindled, forcing us to buy on the open market at retail. This has raised our food budget by 200%. We are confident that the Good Lord will provide, but we are asking our friends to help if they can.
As we move into winter and the uncertainty of the virus, we ask all our friends to pray for the Center and our ability to meet the needs of the community. May we serve hope to all that come to our door.
From our “all-volunteer” staff, God Bless You!!
Don Gainer, Director