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Remembering Helen Payne

On Monday, we remembered Helen Payne on what would have been her 100th birthday.

Our three founders from left to right: Father Hugh Noonan, Helen Payne, and Jaunita Vaughn

Helen’s passion in life was helping the less fortunate. She was a lay Franciscan, who helped found St. Francis Center along with Fr. Hugh Noonan and Juanita Vaughn. Their vision of Serving Hope to the poor came alive when the doors to St. Francis Center opened.

Left: Former Board Member Karl Holtsnider, Middle: Helen Payne, Right: SFC Supporter Kathy Holtsnider

In the early stages, she sought out donations of coffee, doughnuts, and other food from local bakers and neighborhood stores to distribute to the homeless. Later, Helen served on the board of directors and as the center’s treasurer. She was also an active volunteer, volunteering throughout our 45-year history.

“The neighborhood needs this help-needs it desperately,” she once said. “Deep down, underneath I really believe we’re supposed to be here.” 


We are forever thankful for her immeasurable contributions to St. Francis Center and the guests we serve.


Please help us honor Helen’s memory and support her mission to help those in need by making a donation today!