Started in 1970 by a group of Secular Franciscans, the St. Francis Center of Long Beach operated out of a rented store front at 808 E. 4th Street. The mission of the center in the words of the late Paul Mousel, OFS, a long-time volunteer and director of the center, “remains as always to meet the emergency needs of people for food, housing and clothing” and “living the Gospel, putting into practice the Gospel idea that you help those in need and feed the hungry” (quotes from a Press-Telegram article dated 10/3/1981 from an interview with Paul Mousel, OFS)
In February of 1985, the St. Francis Center was able to purchase its present location at 1041 E. 7th Street for a reduced price in an “as is” condition. Under the direction of Paul Mousel, the center continued to carry out its original mission meeting the ever increasing needs of the community.
After Paul’s passing in Aug. 2015, the center began to flounder. Due to the state of disrepair of the building, the center was temporarily closed in Aug 2017.
On September 8, 2017 a new Board of Directors was formed and are working diligently to restructure, remodel and reopen the St. Francis Center of Long Beach.