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St. Vincent de Paul serves people in need, including those who are homeless, living in poverty, or suffering from addiction and mental illness, as well as those people who are in crisis or facing unexpected hardship. Through a continuum of care that includes food, shelter, affordable housing, counseling and emergency financial assistance with rent and utility bills, St. Vincent de Paul assists people, regardless of their background or faith, with the goal of helping each person achieve self-sufficiency.
St. Vincent de Paul Profile:
St. Vincent de Paul has served the poor and homeless of Louisville for 162 years. We operate an inner-city campus in the Smoketown/Shelby Park neighborhood, providing a comprehensive suite of services to the poor and homeless of Louisville.
In addition to our main campus, St. Vincent de Paul serves the poor through our network of 47 parish-based Conferences located throughout Louisville and Southern Indiana. Each Conference consists of volunteers who respond to requests for assistance within their community including help with food needs, clothing, rent assistance and/or utility assistance. The size of each Conference varies, ranging from 5 volunteers to more than 200 volunteers.
St. Vincent de Paul is ideally positioned to serve our community’s poorest and most at risk people. Statistics compiled by the Louisville Coalition forthe Homeless indicate the number-one cause of homelessness is the lack of affordable housing, followed by such daunting obstacles as job loss, inadequate income, substance abuse, and illness or mental health issues. To serve this diverse population, we operate multiple housing programs, sheltering more than 300 individuals, including 60 children, on an emergency, transitional or permanent basis each night, including those with physical, mental health or addiction challenges.
All SVDP programs, including our 20 apartments for homeless families, operate at capacity. SVDP operates the Open Hand Kitchen 365 days a year, serving more than 140,000 meals on an annual basis to Louisville’s homeless population as well as the working poor in our city. Additionally, SVDP opened a food pantry in 2014 to serve the impoverished neighborhoods of Smoketown and Shelby Park which surround our downtown campus.
To optimize outcomes, our case management programs work to ensure a successful transition from homelessness to self-sufficiency. Staffed by professional case managers, each client is provided a custom case plan to assist them to a more stable future.
Additionally, the St. Vincent de Paul Conference network allows us to directly assist the working poor. SVDP Conferences respond to requests for aid across Louisville, Central Kentucky and Southern Indiana. Because of our broad reach throughout the Louisville Metro Area, St. Vincent de Paul is a leading responder for the Metro United Way 2-1-1 program.
The range of services provided by SVDP has not remained static. Rather, SVDP’s programming team has responded to the evolving needs of the poor in Louisville. For example. with the absence of much needed youth programming in SVDP’s vicinity, SVDP raised $1.5mm to refurbish a more than 11,000 square foot existing building to create the SVDP Family Success Center to provide year-round programming for both children and their parents, serving residents on campus as well as the surrounding neighborhood.
The need to support previously homeless families achieve a stable future is the key to making a lasting impact on reducinggenerational homelessness. A primary focus for SVDP is providing children, starting at a very young age, with the support they need to achieve key academic and social development benchmarks. A critical deliverable is engaging parents in this process. We are in the unique position to provide these services because of the comprehensive case management support we provide to both parents and children. Development goals include:
- Early stage vocabulary development
- Four year old school readiness
- Achieving third grade reading levels
- Successful middle school and high school transitions.
In addition to children’s programming, SVDP responded to the increasing needs of our neighbors through the July, 2014 opening of a Food Distribution Center and Food Pantry in partnership with Dare to Care. The SVDP Pantry will serve hundreds of people each month.The ability of an organization to quickly respond to a growing need is a sign of its effectiveness and responsiveness to its constituencies. SVDP has been able to consistently respond due to the steadfast commitment of staff, donors and volunteers
- Nancy Naughton
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