Emergency Homeless Shelter

St. Francis of Assisi Parish – 2018

“If we can enter the church day and night and implore God to hear our prayers, how careful we should be to hear and grant the petitions of our neighbors in need.”

— St. Francis of Assisi

About Our Project


There are over 7,000 homeless in the Silicon Valley. In 2016, with the anticipation of predicted severe winter weather fueled by El Niño conditions in the Pacific Ocean, Bishop McGrath asked parishes in the diocese to consider opening their facilities. St. Francis of Assisi was one of the parishes who answered the call. The Emergency Homeless Shelter Program was established as a parish priority by Msgr. Gene, and the community came together to refuge the homeless during the winter months.

Our project brought us together as a community, and gave us the opportunity to develop a fellowship, while servicing our neighbors in need. We collaborated with fellow parish Most Holy Trinity and even the Evergreen Valley United Methodist Church, making our program an interdenominational effort.

Our intent is not to fix situations, reform character, or to convert. What we are trying to do is clothe the human spirit with dignity, feed the soul with kindness, and to give not what is deserved, but what is needed.

Our hope is that by doing so, we open eyes, both theirs and ours, to the mercy and love that is our religion and faith.

In 2018, we continue this tradition.

Rotation Schedule


We work in close collaboration with Most Holy Trinity, sharing resources and rotating sheltering schedules. Our guest alternate one to two weeks at a time at each parish.

Evergreen Valley United Methodist Church also participates during times when both facilities are not available.

This year, our program runs from January 1 to April 8



Our primary goal is to provide a clean, dry, comfortable, and safe facility, where homeless can spend the night. Guests, who are only accepted as referrals from Valley Homeless Health Program, arrive 7pm and leave 7am.


Dinner and breakfast are prepared by volunteers from the parish community. Other volunteer staff frequently join our guests in the meals.


Dignity On Wheels provides mobile shower and laundry facilities twice a week.


Cots, sleeping bags, blankets, evening clothes, and toiletries are provided through the kindness of material and monetary donations.


Volunteer Opportunities

volunteer 2

The success of our program is entirely dependent on the dedicated efforts and contributions of the community. We invite all who are interested, and would like to help our homeless brothers, to join us.

We are in need of volunteers for several roles, as listed below. To sign up, click on the button for each opportunity. You will be redirected to our sign up site, which has calendars showing specific dates and available slots. Gaps in the signup calendars are due to our guests staying at MHT for that week.

Contact information for the coordinators of the different areas is also provided. Please don’t hesitate to touch bases if you need additional information, or have a change in sign up schedule.


6:30pm to 8:00pm


Opens the storage container, and works with the guests to set up the facility. Also arranges tables, chairs and dividers. Works with evening meal crew to facilitate setup for dinner.


Main duty is to provide male presence until Evening Host arrives.


For more info contact:

Jess Parayno
Phone: (408) 802-8266
Email: jess.parayno@gmail.com


7:00pm to 8:00pm


Conducts nightly intake of guests. Greets, confirms screening for new guests, distributes comfort supplies.


For more info contact:

Robert Dolci
Phone: (408) 910-0759
Email: bobandkathleen@comcast.net






Evening Meal

7:00pm to 8:00pm


Provides, prepares, and serves evening meals. Helps clean up after meal concludes.


Please contact Tom for menu review:

Thomas Ricci
Phone: (408) 892-0167
Email: cheftricci@gmail.com







All slots are filled.

Evening Host

8:00pm to 10:00pm


Ensures the safety of shelter guests and volunteer staff by being vigilant for fire issues and reports any safety concerns. Monitors for any unusual or problematic activities. Is present until overnight security arrives.


For more info contact:

Marcos Herrera
Phone: (408) 219-8406
Email: mlhdlhee@pacbell.net





Morning Meal

5:30am to 7:00am


Provides, prepares, and serves morning meals. Helps clean up after meal concludes.


Please contact Leona for menu review:
Leona Karayan
Phone: (408) 223-2325
Email: travelwithleona@gmail.com









  • Clicking on Donation Button will take you to St. Francis of Assisi Online Giving page.
  • Click on the “here” link of the Quick Give block in bottom right of page.
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  • Make sure you select “Homeless Project” in the Fund drop down in the Gift Information Column.
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