Honoring Our Past and Supporting Our Future

February is the birth month of two brave people who chose to make a stand for equality:  U.S. President Abraham Lincoln (born February 12), who issued the Emancipation Proclamation, and African American abolitionist Frederick Douglass (born February 14). The founder of Black History Month, Carter G. Woodson, wanted to honor their contributions to African American civil rights during this month.

St. Francis Community Services continues to work with our neighbors advocating for their rights and building resiliency. We offer various programs to aid in these endeavors; fighting for the legal rights of clients who could not otherwise afford an attorney, assisting immigrants as they seek asylum, advocating for domestic violence victims, protecting the rights of abused or neglected children, and ensuring veterans and clients remain housed. Thanks to #startsmall, St. Francis Community Services in 2020-21 helped more than 300 immigrant families who faced eviction. We use #startsmall’s $300,000 grant to catch up rent payments or move families to safe housing.

A New Member of Our Family

We would like to welcome Liz Hare, the new executive director of St. Francis Community Services! Liz assumed responsibilities February 1. Executive Director Karen Wallensak, who in 2021 announced her plans to retire after 31 years of service to Catholic Charities, will remain at St. Francis until February 28 to assist in the transition. “Liz has a passion for justice, devotion to improving the well-being of vulnerable people, and diverse cultural experiences that make her a perfect fit for our mission,” said St. Francis Community Services Board Chair Marina Cahill. Liz has a passion for justice and a devotion to walking humbly with vulnerable neighbors.