Testimonials

I needed a wake up call

My name is Peter, an Eagle Scout, and was adopted from Russia in 1996…I came to TFC because I was at a point in my life where I needed a wake up call. I needed to mature and learn how to become a responsible adult. TFC taught me ways to grow spiritually and mentally while living there. ..I learned many Life Skills, one of these was job preparation…I learned more in depth about money management…One of my biggest excitements while living at TFC was apartment research {Peter is still living independently and managing his own apartment and work at a stable job at a Home Depot}. While at TFC I also made two good friendships and had lots of fun times…Another aspect of living at TFC is spiritual growth.

– Peter 2016

Getting my life back on track

I first heard of TFC roughly four years ago from a counselor from high school. At the time, my life was on a downhill slope towards disaster. My family was suffering a split in relationships. I was doing poorly in school and it seemed like I had no future. At first it seemed to be too much, but slowly I got accustomed…they guided me through all the skills needed to survive n the real world, including how to find a job, start a bank account, and even how to file a tax return. Everything they offered was a big step towards getting my life back on track.

– Joseph 2014

I am on the right path

Being at TFC has helped me in more ways than anyone ever thought of. I have learned the right skills to be able to get a job…Staff have showed me the importance of school as I have brought 30 and 40 averages up to 80’s and 90’s and stopped sleeping in class as well as matured in the school setting. I have grown as a person and learned that now is the time when I must be a mature young adult, and no longer a child. Being here teaching me the life skills, such as cooking, cleaning, time management, and money management that I will forever use in life….Prior to coming to TFC I was going down the wrong path, now I am on the right path to becoming a successful person in society.

– Tyler 2014

A life-changing place

The Franciscan Center is a life-changing place. So much knowledge I have gained upon my approach to life. TFC is a loving, caring, and educational environment…The steps to life that TFC teaches are so amazing, only because if you follow every step it really works and helps you in the long run. TFC is structured to make me a better person in society. A home-style environment that provides you with so many gifts such as love and forgiveness and is really what defines TFC. So many different skills that are taught on a daily basis will definitely prepare you for your future…

– D. 2014

I had next to nothing

My name is Jonathan… since I’ve been at TFC. I have accomplished so much here, it blows my mind. Before I was here I had next to nothing. I didn’t have any idea what I was going to do with myself in the future. I didn’t know how to function in the adult world, and I never knew when my next meal would be.

Now after seven months, I acquired a job and maintained it and continue to strive to better myself. When I was 17, I got into some legal issues and ended up on probation. At 18, I was kicked out of my house due to my actions. After that I was homeless drifting from couch to couch. The Probation Officer referred me to TFC…As I continue to learn and progress, I will become a functioning man in the real world…Everything I learned at TFC brought me closer to my family and I am grateful for that…I don’t feel like a looser anymore…getting and maintaining a job, getting the GED certificate…I have two bank accounts and money saved up for the future…”

– Jonathan 2013

(Editor’s note: Jonathan stopped at TFC in early February 2017 and we talked for a long while. He came to say “thanks.” He is doing very well with an apprenticeship as a bricklayer and in the Union. He has a good relationship with his family, especially his father, and his girlfriend.)

I knew I had to change and needed help

My name is Thomas, more commonly known as “Tommy Boy.” While being my usual charming self and still in high school, I thought it would be a great idea to leave home…I won’t go into details. I thought I could dig myself out of this hole I had created. I managed to graduate but continued to couch-surf and not work through the summer. My family tracked me down, got a hold of me and we talked. At this point I was embarrassed and uncomfortable with how I was living so I was willing to listen to options.

They convinced me to come to TFC. So I swallowed my pride and agreed to go. Deep within myself I knew I had to change and needed help….I started having a daily routine that helped me work towards my goals…The staff spent a lot of time teaching me how to live in the adult world…I went from no job to balancing two jobs…I learned time management…So this employed man will always remember TFC as a turning point in my life.

– Tommy Boy 2013

A place that I love being in

My name is Luis… I come originally from Puerto Rico and have been living here for eight months. I am 18 years old and am currently enrolled at Villa Maria College. I always had a good life back at home…that is until my father became an alcoholic and all that was once good turned into turmoil and the family got quickly torn apart. During my teenage years I have experienced many scenarios that require an adult’s maturity…

A conversation with the campus minister led me to The Franciscan Center. I was nervous about living in a homeless youth shelter because I had such a bad idea of the place in my mind. It actually turned out to be a place that I love being in, even more wonderful with the help of the staff…I have just successfully completed my first semester with excellent grades. Additionally, I have a job too.

– Luis 2012

I had no clue …

You see before The Franciscan Center, I really had no clue what was out there in the real world. I had not idea how to pay a bill, mail a letter, hold a job and had no high school diploma. I was unable to communicate properly…you see I never notice anything was wrong, in my mind I was always right, I had all the answers…I was headed for disaster..I was devastated. I just wanted to continue doing what I was doing and it was absolutely not beneficial to my well being whatsoever.

Upon my arrival at The Franciscan Center, I was able to understand that I had to set goals in order to help me move forward. My goals were to gain a high school diploma, to get a quality job, to understand finance, banking, budgeting and saving for future plans. A light bulb went off and I worked with all the staff to move this process forward….As I neared the end of my first stay at TFC, I completed all of my goals and some I didn’t even know I could accomplish, my GED (high school equivalency) being one.

– Brandon 2012

Memorial Dinner & Testimony

Greetings Friends,

Happy Spring! We recently celebrated the Annual +Fr. Patrick Mendola Memorial Dinner at Salvatore’s. It was a wonderful evening, and though a fund raiser, it is the most sacred of our events. As usual, we honored a few of our special benefactors. The first was Certo Brothers Distributors. They have been a major support of our annual Golf Tournament, providing refreshment for weary golfers. The other honoree Paul Kubala, was on our staff from 1993-2016, and was recently appointed as Deputy Commissioner of Youth Services for Erie County. Both of these gentlemen spoke to the crowd and made us proud. Naturally, the highlight of the evening was the presentation of the scholarship sponsored by our friends at Ingram Micro, Inc. This year our honoree was PETER, who was with us over a year some months ago. P. graduated high school, worked at Tops Market, now works at Home Depot. He was recently honored by Home Depot as “employee of the month.” He has rebuilt bridges with his family and matured quite a bit, while living independently since leaving us. We are quite proud of Peter. Below is his testimony, shared at the banquet:

Good evening ladies and gentlemen first I want to thank you all for coming this evening.

Those who do not know who I am, my name is Peter { } and I am an Eagle scout from Troop 400, based out of St. Peter and Paul church, in the village of Hamburg. I was adopted from Russia in 1996 by my wonderful parents who are sitting in this room with me this evening.

I came to TFC because I was at a point in my life where I needed a wake up call. I needed to mature and learn how to become a responsible adult. The Franciscan Center taught me ways to grow spiritually and mentally while living there.

While living at The Franciscan Center for eight months, learned many Life Skills. One of these skills is job preparation. I learned how to properly fill out job applications. I also learned how to fold dress clothes the correct way so that they stay sharp and clean for job seeking and interviews. Another aspect relating to job preparation is communication skills. I learned how important communication is, in not only the work force, but also life in general.

While at The Franciscan Center I learned more in depth about money management. learned how to set up a checking account and how to go about direct deposit for a job. I learned how to budget money and how to keep a check book in balance.
One of my biggest excitements while living at The Franciscan Center was apartment research. I learned about costs of things such as rent, utility bills, security deposit, groceries and many more. This knowledge helped prepare me for living on my own.

While at the TFC, I also made two good friendships and had lots of fun times with the TFC staff. Some of the outings we would go out on would be to Desiderio’s dinner theater, movies, camping, hiking and day trips with the staff.

Another aspect while living at the TFC is spiritual growth. I began to read the bible more and have discussions with staff on spiritual growth and how it applies to daily life.

This evening I want to thank two very special people who are with me, my mom and dad for making me the man I am today and teaching me wonderful life lessons as I grew up in their home. Thank you for all you have done to get me to this pivotal point in my life and all that you continue to do to help me. If it was not for my parents I know for a fact that I would not be here today, so thank you for all you have done for me.

I also want to thank the wonderful TFC staff who helped me grow. I especially want to thank Father Joe and Maureen for pushing me to make difficult life changes. I thank everyone helping me and supporting me while I was living at the TFC. Thank you all for coming tonight and supporting me. I am truly honored to receive this award. Thank you and GOD Bless you all.

Testimony of Success by Joseph at Memorial Dinner.

{Given at the Fr. Patrick Mendola Memorial Dinner & Ingram Micro Scholarship by Joseph L.}

Good evening ladies and gentlemen. I would like to thank you all for coming to support The Franciscan Center, its staff, and the young men who inhabit the home. I am honored to be one of the success stories from The Franciscan Center, and would like to share part of my story with you today.

I first heard of The Franciscan Center roughly four years ago from a counselor from high school. At the time, my life was on a downhill slope towards disaster. My family was suffering a split in relationships. I was doing poorly in school, and it seemed like I had no future coming. But all of that was about to change after I heard about the program at the Center. It seemed as if Jesus had given me a second chance.

At first, it seemed to be too much, but slowly I got accustomed to being their way of life. The guided me through all of the skills needed to survive in the real world, including how to find a job, keep the job, start a bank account, and even how to file a tax return. Everything they offered was a big step towards getting my life back on track.

At the end of my first stay, I encountered the real world for the first time, and it wasn’t a pretty sight, but thanks to what The Franciscan Center gave me, I wa able to find my first job and keep it. However, I still lacked some of the skills needed to maintain a home, especially with a roommate. So I went back to reclaim skills a second time, and achieved it to the greatest extent.

Now I’m out on my own again, and its been more progressive. Thanks to The Franciscan Center, I am now not only able to find a job and keep it, maintain an apartment, and created a bank account, I can now complete my tax forms, stay up to date with my bank books, keep on a schedule with work, and manage a place to stay all at once.

Currently I ‘m at St. Luke’s Sheppard House, working at Family Dollar for a year and a half and counting. I will also be attending my third semester for electrical training in the fall and will be planning on becoming a full-time worker as an electrical engineer in the future. I will be finding my own place to call home. Of course, this would have happened had it not been for The Franciscan Center.

I would like to thank you all for listening to my success as I further myself for the future. A special thanks to Fr. Joe, his staff, and the Provincial (Fr. James) for giving me the +Fr. Patrick Mendola Award and may the future of the young gentlemen from the Center bring hope and faith to all. Thank you very much.

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(716) 822-8017

1910 Seneca Street
Buffalo, NY 14210