The Franciscan Center, Inc., was founded in 1989 by Sally Ley and the late Jean Kelly as a homeless shelter an sack lunch program. The worldwide Secular Franciscan Order however, was founded over 800 years ago by St. Francis of Assissi, and was the inspiration for the St. Charles Fraternity in Fort Wayne to create the Franciscan Center. Over the years, the Franciscan Center has changed to serve the needs of the community.
At the Franciscan center, while all programs are overseen by a small staff the true heart and soul of the organization is our comprehensive network of dedicated volunteers. Over 4,300 individuals contribute more than 9000 hours to the center each year and are instrumental to the success of our programs. Volunteers range in age from five to eighty-five, but all have one thing in common: they lend their neighbors a helping hand whenever possible, and help to create blessings in the lives of others.