The History of Siena House by co-founder Wayne Shaffer

When I'm asked how I got involved with Siena House, I sometimes think, that's a good question.  I was one of a dozen or so concerned citizens from different backgrounds, churches and experiences. There were a couple of doctors, a teacher, a Catholic nun OB nurse, an attorney, a social worker, mothers, retired military and others who supported the idea of a maternity home for Santa Cruz County.  We focused on poor and abused women who had nowhere to live or were experiencing unhealthy living conditions with drugs and/or relationships.

Fifteen years later, I wonder how we did it.  A lot of trial and error has formulated a successful program envied by similar organizations.  No money to start with an trying to understand the non-profit requirements were scary for any one person.  But together, and with lots of prayers and faith, we created Siena House Maternity Home of Santa Cruz County.  And then the big surprise for me, we had to elect officers to the Board of Directors for the 501c3 non-profit status, and someone said, "Wayne can do this."  I had been the president of the St. Francis Catholic Kitchen for almost ten years and thought maybe this would not be too different.  Well, here I am still president and living the work we do with the most loving individual from our Director and support staff, to our daily pool of volunteers.  And I get to hold these little babies as a reward for my efforts.  How good is that?!

Do keep us in your prayers so that we continue to share the light of God's love in Santa Cruz.  And a big thank you for all your past and future financial support!



Wayne Shaffer

Co-Founder and President Emeritus



A vision for Siena House

Siena House was founded in February 2000, by local caring individuals who, in the spirit of God’s love, envisioned a safe residential environment for pregnant women in need.