Meet the 82-Year-Old Woman Known as 'Mom' Who's Been Caring for the Homeless for 30 Years

Yvonne Franklin of Fort Walton Beach, Florida, a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, has a lot of people who call her “mom” — both related by blood and marriage, as well as those who are not.

Some have given the 82-year-old the title to recognize her unusual generosity and giving spirit, as for more than three decades she’s been helping out the homeless in her area.

“I’ve learned to be helpful for them and I’ve learned not to judge them,” she told People. “I never judge any of them at all because they’re all people.”

To that end, she keeps basic supplies — clothes, blankets, food — in her car at all times in case she comes across someone who could use them. Over the years, she’s worked with a variety of local groups who raise funds to help the homeless.

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But Franklin advises that years of experience and a stash of supplies aren’t necessary to make a difference in someone’s life.

“What they need is friendship,” she said. “Or just a cup of coffee on the streets.”

“If you see somebody out there holding a sign, ask them what they need. Ask them if they need a cup of coffee or our hamburger or something like that.”

Her kindness has been observed by her children and her children’s children, who all recognize the powerhouse of human kindness they have in their mother and grandmother.

“I’ve always tried to teach [my children] to have a compassionate heart like my mom has taught me, to truly care and be a friend to those less fortunate,” Donna Conklin, Franklin’s daughter, said.

“It’s a good message because now it’s really so hard. People in the world today, I just see less of it and less of it. And I think we need to go the other direction because people really have a hard time.”

“We all have to stop and think — they are people just like us, and [my mom has] truly always cared for anybody and everybody and showed friendship no matter what.”

Franklin’s grandson, Colby Conklin, shared the article highlighting his grandma and praised her work and character.

“My sweet Grandmother was recently mentioned in People Magazine!” he posted on Facebook. “She has the biggest heart and I couldn’t be more proud of her. Love her so much.”

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“Mom” seems to suit her, several times over, as she’s taken so many under her wing and encourages others to do the same.

“Anybody can do it,” Franklin added. “Anybody can do it because it’s a very rewarding type of work that I do and I show compassion for the people. I love them all.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking