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Our Mission Statement

"Believing in the dignity of every person, at Poverello House we work to enrich the lives and spirits of all who pass our way by stewarding the resources made available to us through Providential and community support."

Mike McGarvin and homeless man

Serving the Needy

Homeless, Hungry, Alone and Sick, with no one to care for them. These are the realities for thousands of people in the San Joaquin Valley. They come from everywhere: transients with no destination; women in need or in fear; children and their families; migrants following the harvests; the elderly, trying to subsist on little or no income; youths with undetermined futures and no hope. Day after day, by car, on foot, or by train, they come to Poverello House seeking food, warmth, and compassion.

Poverello House is a private, nonprofit, nondenominational organization that has been serving the hungry and homeless of our community since 1973. Mike McGarvin saw a need and addressed it simply: he began handing out sandwiches on the streets. Inspired by his example, others came to lend a hand, and with the help of churches, businesses, and volunteers, the outreach grew. In 1981, through the generous contribution of a supporter, Poverello House was established in its current location on "F" Street. A major expansion and renovation was completed in 1992, adding office space, a family dining room, a shower and laundry facility, and modernizing the kitchen.

In 2002, Poverello House collaborated with Marjaree Mason Center and Holy Cross Center for Women and established Naomi’s House, a homeless overnight shelter for women who are single and do not have children.

In the winter of 2004, after seeing a tremendous need for temporary shelter, Poverello House established the Michael McGarvin Jr. Village of Hope, a shelter for people who are striving to better their lives. In November of 2007, Poverello House and the City of Fresno collaborated to open up a second Village called The Community of Hope. These, too, are temporary shelters established specifically for the homeless.