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Inspired by Gospel values, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul,
a Catholic lay organization,
leads women and men to join together to grow spiritually
by offering person-to-person service to the needy and suffering
in the tradition of its founder, Frédéric Ozanam,
and patron, St. Vincent de Paul.
As a reflection of the whole family of God,
members, who are known as Vincentians,
are drawn from every ethnic and cultural background, age group, and economic level.
Vincentians are united in an international society of charity
by their spirit of poverty, humility, and sharing,
which is nourished by prayer and reflection,
mutually supportive gatherings,
and adherence to a basic Rule.
Organized locally Vincentians witness God's love
by embracing all works of charity and justice.
The Society collaborates with other people of good will
in relieving need and addressing its causes,
making no distinction in those served,
because, in them, Vincentians see the face of Christ.
Health and welfare benefits provided within the previous year.
SVdP Detroit is an independent agency both financially and as a self-governing body but works in conjunction with the Archdiocese of Detroit. In the Archdiocese it operates at two levels. At the local level there is a network of 2000 plus Vincentian members at approximately 175 parishes in the metropolitan area who collect donations from their parishes and neighborhoods and provide emergency monetary and material assistance to those who need temporary help. Typically, Vincentians raise money and collect food, clothing, etc. for emergency assistance. They work with young people in educational and recreational settings, personally visit and aid individuals and families in dire situations, volunteer at regional resale/thrift shops, coordinate clothing drives and cooperate with other community agencies to provide specialized programs to help individuals and families break the cycle of poverty.
At the regional level it operates the more extensive programs and services of a broader community nature. SVdP has earned a high level of trust from other agencies and it helps and partners with several of them, often receiving referrals from them. In the metro Detroit area, SVdP has emerged as a major provider of basic human services for the six counties in Southeast Michigan and is active in the following areas:
Operates summer camp for underprivileged children;
Partners with Southeast Children and Family Development Heard Start daycare center;
Partners with St. John Health System to provides services in and around the VanElslander Family Center;
Partners with UDM to provide dental care in and around the Van Elslander Family Center;
Besides local food pantries, operates three regional Food Distribution Centers to which clients from other agencies may be referred;
Operates nine resale/thrift stores serving as distribution centers for emergency clothing, furniture and other household goods;
Operates the Matchen Nutritian Center that provides hot meals to seniors
In Southeast MI SVdP distributes over $2 million in emergency needs annually.