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Breaking the Cycle of Poverty

Almost half of high school aged children experiment with drugs before the age of thirteen. Many leave school before the 9th grade becoming parents or homeless. Some resorting to anything just to feed and clothe themselves.

The St. Francis House was founded in 1967 by Fr. Benedict Groeschel C.F.R to provide a safe haven and highly structured home environment for young men who have run out of alternatives and looking to start over. The house has been run by Joseph Campo S.F.O. since 1992, and continues to thrive under the direction of Joe who has affectionately earned the title of "Surrogate Father," and grandpa by past residents and residents of today.


Nuturing Spiritual Growth

The St. Francis House teaches the young men, by both discussion and example, about the place of a loving God in their lives. The residents attend Mass together, and they pray before every meal. The importance of prayer is emphasized daily. Some have completed the necessary instruction and have received the sacraments of First Holy Communion and Confirmation.

We Have Helped

Over 350 young men have gone through the St. Francis House in the past 51 years. Many have found responsible jobs, made peace with their families, and gone back to school. A number of them are now successful in business and professional work.

When they came to The St. Francis House, almost all of these young men were without any kind of parental support or even a place to live as they left different institutions in NEW YORK state. Although people are largely unaware of it, when a young person is in child care, that care will cease at age 18 and if that young person has no resources, he may actually find himself on the street.

Building a Christian Work Ethic

Every young man is required to go to work, school, or both and maintain responsible attitudes of good behavior and share in the maintenance of the house, rotating chores on a monthly basis. Domestic Skills, including cooking and cleaning for themselves in the house are learned and performed by each resident. The young men learn valuable business, artistic, and organizational skills in the home.

A Caring Environment 

Joseph Campo is the executive director of the St. Francis House since Fr. Groeschel's passing. Daily activities are supervised by Joe who is the father of two sons himself, and a Third Order Franciscan as well as the producer of Grassroots Films inc. He has for many years served as a drug and alcohol counselor, and now fulfills the role of surrogate father to these young men. He does everything that's necessary from overseeing homework, to supervising household chores, to personal counseling. His most important responsibility is to create a loving caring environment to provide the stability that these young men have never known.

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