Can you imagine the stress of being so out of money that you can’t pay your rent and utilities, plus feed your family, but now you have an eviction notice? This situation, or a variation, is what our Vincentians encounter when we do a home visit. They are our neighbors, mostly working people, often single moms. Trying to avoid homelessness.
Those who call their nearby Catholic Church to get help are often referred to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and that’s when our wonderful parish based Vincentians show up and help. YOUR contribution at your parish funds this assistance. We made almost 4,000 home/parish visits last year, with an average of $200 per visit, some more, some less (occasionally much more!).
Your contributions also fed people via our main food pantry. 25,000 times! The number of people who are food insecure in our community is shocking. So, you help us help with food, too. Value? $250,000 is a conservative estimate.
This year, I’m very excited that we are piloting a program called Bridges Out of Poverty, that has been proven highly successful in helping people take ownership of changing their lives for the better. We are also investing in our stores, to provide economical options for people in need and to provide income to support our programs. Your donations of clothing and household goods that are still attractive and sellable make it possible. Last year we gave away $80,000 of clothing, mattresses, and home furnishings!
We hear the cry of the poor, hundreds of times each month. Won’t you join us in responding, as Christ would, this Lent? And most importantly, keep us in your prayers. We thank God for you, may he bless you as you have blessed others!
-Council President, Diane Mead