When a neighbor contacts St. Vincent de Paul’s neighborhood ministries – known as conferences – for assistance, volunteer members visit the neighbor in their home. This Home Visit is the hallmark of St. Vincent de Paul conferences, as it enables personal accompaniment of a neighbor in need. These volunteers, the Vincentians, meet with the neighbors and offer support and encouragement as they work together to identify both immediate and longer-term needs.
St. Vincent conferences may provide emergency assistance with utilities, rent, food, or clothing to help prevent an individual or family from falling into homelessness. Often, they help those who are exiting shelter by helping them become established in their new homes with the furnishings and resources they need to get back on their feet. Sometimes, they help a neighbor who just needs a “boost.”
One such neighbor is “Ricky,” a kind older gentleman. Ricky works part-time at a department store to supplement his income from social security and a small pension. He is generally self-sufficient, but occasionally he needs a boost to help cover an unexpected expense.
Vincentians from the St. Augustine conference had gotten to know him through home visits when he needed assistance. They knew he had difficulty hearing, so it was not a surprise when a hearing test confirmed he would greatly benefit from hearing aids. Unfortunately, his Medicare plan would not cover them, and he could not afford them with his humble income. His friends at St. Augustine were determined to help – they knew that his quality of life would be greatly improved with hearing assistance.
They were unable to cover the whole cost themselves, so they reached out to other St. Vincent de Paul conferences in Dayton for help. Together they raised the money needed to pay for Ricky’s hearing aids. This is just one of many examples of neighbors helping neighbors helping neighbors – we all get by with a little help from our friends!
To get involved or seek assistance, click here to find the St. Vincent de Paul conference nearest you.