About The St. Francis House

In mid-1984, in response to a need to help the poor and hungry in St. Augustine, a group of clergy and laity met and agreed to sponsor a local soup kitchen.With community support, the group incorporated and began serving meals at St. Paul's A.M.E. Church on Washington Street several days a week.

In February 1985, an empty and dilapidated building at 70 Washington Street was purchased and renovated. It became the St. Francis House. By October 1985, meals were being served at St. Francis House seven days a week. In the Spring of 1986, a men's shelter upstairs was completed and opened.

On October 18, 1987, a women's dormitory was added. This total of 16 bunks for men and 8 for women still exists. St. Francis House has also acquired a residential house for transition, for those who are almost at the end of their respective paths toward housing and self-sufficiency as well as for those requiring respite care. A third house was recently acquired that provides emergency shelter for families with children. St. Francis House remains remains the only full time emergency shelter for homeless and needy in St. Johns County between Jacksonville and Daytona Beach, serving St.Johns, Clay, Putnam, Duval and Flagler Counties.

A migrant feeding outreach program began in 1987 and ran through 2012. This seasonal, supplemental feeding program served approximately 300 to 500 farm workers daily in the various camps around Hastings, Florida. In 2012 St. Francis House provided 11,350 lunches to the workers.

Heartfelt thanks to our volunteers and contributors for their compassion and dedicated service to those who come to St. Francis House to help.

For more information you can email us at info.sfh1@gmail.com or call us at (904) 829-8937 and any of our staff will be happy to help you.


Administrative Staff

Judith Dembowski
Executive Director

Karen Hensel
Assistant Director

Denis Sousa

Program Manager

Rose DiMuzio

Case Manager

Reyneisha Smith

Case Manager

Shawn Hooper

Administrative Assistant

Karen Lundquist

Event Coordinator/Volunteer Coordinator