Our Message

Fr. Francis Pizzarelli, SMM, is the Founder and Executive Director of Hope House Ministries in Port Jefferson. As a Montfort Missionary, Fr. Pizzarelli has answered the call to serve the poor and most wounded among us. For 39 years, he has led the Long Island community in efforts to combat drug addiction, homelessness and suicide. Joined by a dedicated staff of social workers, occupational therapists, nurses, substance abuse counselors, private counselors, legal experts and volunteers, Fr. Pizzarelli’s 12 programs now serve thousands of people each year. As a result of his unwavering service to others, young people in crisis are provided safety, structure and counseling services to address the circumstances that led to their homelessness. Women and children are afforded positive alternatives to abusive relationships. Ex-offenders are given opportunities for a new lease on life. Those experiencing mental illness return to healthy lifestyles while those living with addictions experience the freedom of recovery.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Father Pizzarelli’s academic career spans Montfort College, St. John’s University, the Catholic University of America and Fordham University; with a degree in Sociology, graduate work in Theology and Religious Education, a Masters degree in clinical social work and Post Graduate training as a Drug and Alcohol counselor.

Fr. Pizzarelli is a licensed clinical social worker, a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers (ACSW) and a member of the National Registry of Clinical Social Workers. He received his Degree in Clinical Social Work in 1998. In 1990, he received an honorary doctorate from St. Michael’s College in Winooski, VT, for his work with at-risk young people.

As an educator for over 35 years, Fr. Pizzarelli teaches part-time at St. Joseph’s College. He is also a Professor of Sociology at Suffolk County Community College and is an Adjunct Professor of Social Work at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Social Service.

Fr. Pizzarelli is continually called upon by the community to speak on the theme of human wellness with an emphasis on recovery from opioid addiction. He has been invited as a guest speaker to over 2500 high schools and colleges. He is the founder of CADD (Community Against Driving Drunk), as well as the Treasurer of the Board of Directors of the Way Back, Inc. (a transitional community for the mentally ill). For the past twenty-five years, he has written a weekly column in a number of local newspapers in Suffolk County. He also hosts “Reasons for Hope,” an award winning television program airing weekly on Telicare.

Fr. Pizzarelli has received numerous awards throughout his career and ministry. In 1991 Hope House Ministries was named the 555th Point of Light by the Bush Administration. In 1993 he was recognized by the Suffolk County Bar Association for his work with children and young people. In 1996, Fr. Pizzarelli was appointed to President Bill Clinton’s White House Conference on Youth, Drugs and Violence. In June of 2002 Hope House Ministries was named Agency of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers, Suffolk County Division. And in 2008, the Nassau Suffolk Coalition for the Homeless awarded him the Key of Excellence Award for more than thirty years of serving Long Island’s homeless with dignity and compassion.