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Making an Impact on the Fresno Community starting at the Poverello House!

Updated: Jul 12, 2021

Written By: Rebecca Baxter

We believe that happy team members and customers see more than just the value of the products our business serves up, they see the difference we are making for our communities.

Giving back through volunteer works creates a ripple effect of positivity giving back and happier people. We want our team members to the opportunity to grow in confidence, feel accomplished, have pride in our organization, and meet the people of the community – not just through their role but through volunteer opportunities as well.

About the Poverello House

In the turmoil of the 1960s, a young man named Mike McGarvin was quickly becoming a casualty of the decade like so many others. He fell into daily companions like drugs, alcohol, violence all driving a sense of hopelessness. Until one day, he found a coffee house in San Francisco run by a priest called Poverello. Mike was asked to volunteer – the experience made a strong impact and changes his life. The San Francisco Poverello served people who were characterized by poverty and despair with open arms while offering acceptance, unconditional love, and always with a smile. Serving others comes with big personal rewards, and Mike found just what he needed to solve his problems in caring and providing for others.

Mike’s journey continued after he married his wonderful wife, Mary and they moved to Fresno. While he and Mary were thriving, Mike still searched for a way to give back. He noticed homeless people on the streets in Fresno. He started simply handing out peanut butter sandwiches, offering a listening ear, and showed each of them that he cared about them. His efforts quickly grew, and others began to support him. A simple storefront building was obtained, and Mike named it after the place that saved him, Poverello House. By now he was known as ‘Papa Mike’ and he offered coffee, food, and brief relief from the streets for those who were walking in the same shoes he once did. Despite the struggles that they faced including the building burning down, evictions, and financial insecurity – the Poverello House continued to grow and serve the community by providing essential services.

The Poverello House of Fresno is still standing strong today providing to meet the needs of the community. They are focused on enriching the lives and spirits of all who cross their path through providing meals, social services, and temporary shelter and they partner with agencies that can better assist those in need. They serve three meals a day, 356 days a year along with services that improve people’s quality of life including clothing distribution, emergency food bags, a medical clinic, the Men’s Resident Rehabilitation program, temporary overnight shelter for all, and social services seeking support to end their homeless situation. Papa Mike’s philosophy is the foundation of the Poverello House - “Listen with compassion, give with a warm heart and smile”. A simple but impactful philosophy.

California QSR Management is partnering up with the Poverello House in Fresno!

Our passion for service goes beyond inside the walls of our restaurants. California QSR Management is committed to serving our community, offering volunteer opportunities to our team members, and always share a smile. Our 150+ team members from Popeyes® Louisiana Kitchen in the Fresno area will rally together to donate clothing to the Poverello House at least twice a year. The clothing will be directly distributed by the Poverello House to those in need. We will be scheduling events and serving food, Popeyes® chicken boxes, to the homeless population around the Poverello House. We are building a strong community together and are dedicated to serving others!

Information shared was sourced from the following sites:

Poverello House Site:

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