Siena/Francis House
Homeless Shelter

The region's largest shelter providing food, shelter,
clothing and hope to homeless men, women and children








Melissa and Mallory

After surgeries due to infections in her heart and lungs, Melissa's medical bills piled up. A subsequent job layoff caused the young mom and her baby, Mallory, to end up hungry and homeless at the Siena/Francis House.

2017SummerAppealPicWhen young mom Melissa recently arrived at the Siena/Francis House Homeless Shelter, she had lost nearly everything in life…her health, her job and her apartment. She’d also lost hope.

In tears, Melissa told her story.

For over five years, Melissa had cleaned houses for a living. She was good at her job.  Earlier this year though, Melissa noticed that her energy level dropped to a point where she could barely make it out of bed, even to take care of her newborn daughter, Mallory.

After a series of medical tests, doctors determined that Melissa was very sick with a dangerous infection in her heart and lungs. She was immediately hospitalized.  Friends of Melissa – a married couple – took care of Mallory while Melissa stayed in the hospital for nearly three months.

During her hospitalization, Melissa was put on heavy doses of antibiotics and other medications. Despite this care, Melissa actually slipped into a coma, and doctors feared the worst. When she finally regained her faculties, doctors ended up performing surgery to remove portions of both of her affected lungs.

During her lengthy hospital stay, Melissa obviously wasn’t able to work. All of her savings were eaten up by medical bills.

When she was finally discharged, Melissa was confined to bed rest for the foreseeable future. She also returned home to a pile of bills, including several months of back rent, in addition to her overwhelming medical bills. And, although her employer was sympathetic, Melissa was laid off from her house cleaning job. Not long after that, Melissa received notice that she was being evicted from her apartment, due to non-payment of rent.

With her life spiraling beyond control, Melissa was losing hope that things could ever get better for her and her infant daughter, Mallory.  Luckily for Melissa, though, the hospital’s social worker called the Siena/Francis House to ask if this mom and daughter could possibly stay at our shelter.

As is always the case, our women’s and children’s shelter was operating well above 100 percent of capacity. Regardless, we rearranged some of our guests and made room for this little family.

Since the day that Melissa and Mallory arrived, my staff and I have made sure that they’ve received the life necessities of food, clothing and shelter. We’ve also assured Melissa that the Siena/Francis House is a safe and secure place for them to temporarily call home. And, besides ensuring that Melissa continues to receive the medical care she needs, our staff are working to get this family rental assistance so that they might be able to acquire affordable and appropriate housing. Until then, Melissa and Mallory will be here with us at the Siena/Francis House, and are grateful for the “hand up” they are receiving at our shelter.

Will you please make a gift this summer to help us care for Melissa and Mallory? Your donation will immediately help us provide for the basic needs of this homeless family, and others like them. The Siena/Francis House tries to never turn anyone away, and we are dedicated to providing life’s necessities to those who come to us seeking assistance. Please click HERE to make your online donation on our secure website.

Summer is our slowest time for gifts, while many hundreds of desperate people come to us requesting food, shelter and safety every day. Melissa’s story of a medical calamity is certainly not uncommon. Please use the enclosed envelope and send your check right away! Our shelter is operating at well over capacity, and we truly need your help to be able to provide food and a place to stay for the hundreds of hungry and homeless families who daily show up at our door, like Melissa and Mallory.

Please know how grateful we are to you for helping the Siena/Francis House provide these basic services to the poor and homeless when they have nowhere else to turn. Also know that these services are only made possible because of your generous financial support, as nearly all of the contributions to our homeless shelter come from compassionate members of our community, like you.

God bless you for your sustained friendship and support. I wish you all the best this summer.

With gratitude,

 Mike Saklar

Executive Director

P.S. Please make your summer gift today by clicking HERE. Your support will provide hope to people like Melissa and Mallory. Our house is always open because of generous and caring people who send gifts for food, shelter, and clean clothes.

Gifts to Siena/Francis House are used to provide food, shelter, clothing, and care of the people who turn to us during their hour of need, and are greatly appreciated. All of our services are provided at no cost to our guests. All gifts to Siena/Francis House are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. Our audited financial statements are freely available by writing to Siena/Francis House, P.O. Box 217 DTS – Omaha, Nebraska – 68101. Our donor information is kept in strict confidence; our donor lists are never rented, shared, or exchanged with other organizations. The stories in our letters are real. Identifying details have been changed and file photos may be used to protect the privacy and therapeutic interest of our guests. For more information about Siena/Francis House or to include us in your estate planning, please contact Siena/Francis House Development Director, Tim Sully, at (402) 341-1821.