The Franciscan Friars have been serving the homeless and working poor in our community for more than 175 years. The Franciscans were invited by Archbishop John Purcell in 1844 to come from Germany and serve the German immigrants living in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. As the neighborhood changed and the needs grew, especially among more impoverished residents in Over-the-Rhine, the Franciscan Friars established one of the first local soup kitchens in the late 1970s. Other outreach programs, such as the Sarah Center and Bag Lunch programs were added during the 1980s and 1990s. Today, SFSM operates its programs and outreach services in the St. Anthony Center at 1615 Republic Street, serving as a welcome center with multiple nonprofit organizations working together to serve the basic physical and emotional needs of the impoverished and homeless.