Success Stories


Michael Kennedy







Jeffrey Azize







Joseph Hong









Quite possibly voted "least likely to succeed" by the world, Michael has taken complete control of his life.
"I had an unmanageable life. I was addicted to drugs and alcohol. When I was 20 I had just gotten out of rehab. Basically, my options were to go to jail or die." But Mike found another option. He moved into the St. Francis House 8 years ago. "I started working with computers and web design with the Friars and I even went to college." Mike's life made a complete turnaround. Motivated to build his future, he enrolled in a 4-year college. After he earned his B.A. in social work, he became a substance abuse counselor for youth struggling with the same problems he had overcome. During his time at the house, Mike fell in love with a wonderful young woman and they were married. Quite possibly voted "least likely to succeed" by the world, Michael has taken complete control of his life. Mike and his wife live in Rhode Island where they have bought their second home and are expecting their third child. His devotion to God, his wife and his children makes him a perfect example of what life is really about and what the St. Francis House has to offer.



"I don't always have to worry about whether or not my brothers and I would be physically abused that night."
"Growing up, I came from a very poor ghetto area." Jeff was born in 1986 in Jackson Heights, Queens. His mother was a medical assistant but his father was unemployed and often wasted scarce family money on gambling. Jeff has been connected to the St. Francis House for many years because his older brother lives here. Over the years, Jeff became a member of the house and eventually moved in. He now has a life of consistency. "I don't always have to worry about whether or not my brothers and I would be physically abused that night." Feeling safe and much more confident, he has finished high school, excelling in the maths and sciences. "It's the first time in my life I've had my own room." Jeff is a member of the Youth 2000 NY crew and works as a production management assistant for Grassroots Films. Jeff has been developing his computer skills and also enjoys acting.




"It offered me a second chance in life; if it wasn't for this house I'd probably be in and out of prison for the rest of my life."
The middle child from a family of three, Joseph came from a home with a father suffering from alcoholism, and a devout mother. By the age of thirteen Joseph was skipping school, getting in and out of jail, and doing drugs. After a brief sentence in Riker's Island jail, he was introduced to Joe Campo and agreed to stay at the St. Francis house. In the two years he lived at the House, Joseph matured enormously. He has since received his GED, moved into his own apartment, and will be starting college studying criminal justice. "This house has given me a lot opportunities in life, and given me both boundaries and freedom," he says.  "It offered me a second chance in life; if it wasn't for this house I'd probably be in and out of prison for the rest of my life."