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Inspired by Gospel values, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is a Catholic lay organization that leads people to grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service to the needy and suffering.
The Society was founded in the 19 th Century by a French student who believed strongly in helping the poor and serving them with dignity and respect. While Catholic in its origin; need not creed, determines who is helped and how by the Society now. The Society has grown into an international organization, with projects and programs all over the world. Here in Alameda County , our main programs which focus on this idea of service to the poor: Special Projects allow us to work on a truly grassroots level with those in need. These include a. The Champion Guidance Center , a drop-in center for homeless men in downtown Oakland b. Our Free Dining Room in downtown Oakland serves on average, about 1,000 hot meals per day. c. Our Food Locker distributes a variety of food to our Conferences and other non-profit agencies who are dedicated to feeding the hungry. d. Our Visitation Center is a daytime drop-in center for homeless and low-income women and their children.