Frank’s Story




The Beginning 

Francisco, or Frank, was born and raised near Rio Vista Center, one of ABCS’ community resource centers located in South Phoenix. In his youth, he often found himself in trouble and was in and out of county jail. Frank was curious about religion and even tried out different churches in search of something real. The frequent jail visits in his early years eventually led to a prison sentence., During that time his mother passed away. After finishing his sentence, he had nowhere to go. In 2015, he began receiving free food boxes from Rio and eventually started volunteering part-time.  

Finding Community  

He was drawn to the meaningful work and the accepting community at Rio. It gave him a sense of belonging he hadn’t experienced before. In 2018 he began volunteering full-time. When asked how Rio’s support and services have helped him, he replied, “It saved my life.” When asked what inspired him to go from a client to a volunteer, he said, “I was looking for something good, something spiritually good, something that wasn’t bad. I was tired of being bad.” Frank made it clear that he is not going anywhere, Rio is his community. “What I love the most, I think, is not only that I have a family here, and I love them all, but that they don’t let me down and I don’t let them down.” 

A Lasting Legacy 

 Frank expressed that he has always been grateful for what he has been given. When he was young, he would spend summers in Mexico with his family. When asked about this he said, “It never dawned on me that I was living amongst the poor, I was very content. I really don’t need much in life to be happy…” Rio has cultivated a heart of service in Francisco, he looks for reasons to serve even when he’s not at the center. He’ll sometimes carry around an extra set of shoes in case they might fit someone who needs them. Frank attends the partner church on campus at Rio. His time at the resource center has drawn him closer to Jesus, and he talks to his kids about Jesus as much as possible. He hopes that they will grow up and find the Lord for themselves. Frank said, “I was on the complete road to destruction,” when talking about who he was before Rio. If you or someone you know needs food or clothing visit to find a resource center.