Fran’s story of brokenness and healing starts like many others.
She was born in the Bronx to a tight-knit, Italian-Catholic family. Her father abandoned the family when she was a toddler, but her grandparents — especially her grandfather — stepped in to fill the gap, ensuring that Fran and her mother were well cared for.
“I had a wonderful childhood — the most beautiful family,” she said. “I was born with three silver spoons in my mouth.”
By the time she was 24, Fran had been married, abused, divorced and had given birth to a baby girl. After her grandmother died, she moved with the family to Florida, where she remained for 25 years.
When Fran began experiencing health issues and her daughter was diagnosed with cancer, life became overwhelming and difficult. Every day was a challenge.
“That was a hard time, but it made me realize how short life is and that I should be grateful,” she said.
Fran’s daughter slowly regained her health and the family decided to move to Colorado. They moved to the Denver suburbs and eventually to Colorado Springs, where they rented a house that they were unaware was in the process of foreclosure.
“That was a shock,” Fran said. “We were given just a few days to move, and we just couldn’t take everything. We lost most of what we had.”
Fran came to the Mission for help in 2020. The journey ahead was daunting for someone who had never experienced homelessness, but she was committed to doing whatever it took.
“I knew it would be worth it,” she said. “At SRM, I had everything I needed. I’m so thankful to God and to everyone who helped me.”
During her two years staying in the women’s shelter, Fran became active in nearly every aspect of SRM’s programming. She engaged in work programs, Bible studies and began meeting with a case manager to help her secure permanent housing.
A large part of Fran’s healing journey also included the building of new community around her. Throughout her time at the Mission, she became a committed friend and ally of many fellow guests.
“I never liked myself, especially once I started having health problems, but I really started healing when I was at SRM,” she said. “When I got there, I was angry and bitter. But at SRM, it was the little things that changed everything. … I had everything I needed. I have all these friends now — good friends — who seem to like me for who I am.”
In February 2022, Fran and her daughters moved into a nice, spacious apartment with a mountain view.
“I’ve learned to be grateful for what I have — and that God will give me what I need,” she said. “I cannot thank God enough. If you persevere and do the right thing, you can overcome anything. I’m so grateful for the help I got there. … My experience with homelessness made me closer to God. He’s where my healing comes from, and it’s Him who gave me this home. And it feels good to be home.”
Consistently provide nutritious meals, a bed and compassionate care for neighbors in need by becoming a Good Samaritan Sponsor today! For just $25 a month, you’ll help transform the life of a homeless man or woman in Colorado Springs.
Visit springsrescuemission.org/gss to learn more.