Our services support The Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s mission to enhance the quality of life for all people and help them work toward living self-sufficient, dignified lives. We do so with the help of kind donors and compassionate volunteers. Assistance may include food, clothing, furniture, rent, utility, transportation, medical, emotional and spiritual support. The ultimate goal is to meet emergency or basic needs, keep families together by preventing homelessness and promoting self-sufficiency. 94 cents of every dollar donated to the Society goes towards sustaining the following programs:
Home Visit Ministry: Going to Those in Need Since 1871.
We get to know the people we help by going directly to them. Our Home Visit Ministry allows us to be of the utmost assistance by experiencing first-hand how the people we help are living. Visiting the homes of people in need allows us to determine the exact nature and details of help required. Many people struggle just to keep the lights on and keep the family under one roof. We provided $2.4 million in rent and utility assistance last year alone; and visited nearly 10,000 homes.
Our Food Network Provides Nourishment, Necessities and Education.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul Galveston-Houston’s Food Network encompasses and supports over 30 food pantries that address the needs of a growing community of people without adequate nourishment and basic needs. Our pantries promote healthy diets and, above all else, dignity by providing discreet access to perishable and nonperishable food items, special diet items, and household goods, such as paper products, baby items, and hygiene necessities. Learn more about the SVdP Food Network.
Voucher Ministry: Basic Needs for Dignified Living
Where we can, we strive to provide immediate help for people every day as those needs arise regardless of race, education, citizenship or background. In addition, the Society has adopted a distinct way in which we can provide assistance for the underprivileged and underserved in a discreet and dignified way. Our Voucher Ministry focuses on giving clothing, furniture and household items away at no charge.
Those in need have to make tough choices between food, rent, utilities, transportation and medical bills. Purchasing furniture, even at a low cost, may not be an option. Children may sleep on the floor or eat dinner on a chair, with no table. Numerous studies link family meal time with better communication, better grades, better nutrition and preventing unwanted behavior. Sleep disturbance in children is not only associated with medical problems, but also with psychiatric and social issues. Many children living in poverty are already lacking the basic support networks necessary for their success. Since few social service organizations offer furniture assistance, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP) established the Voucher program to address this need and foster a dignified family environment.
Advocacy: We are the Voice of the Poor.
An important part of our work is advocating for people who cannot advocate for themselves. Whether we are addressing living conditions, helping a community understand their own rights, informing people how to be considered for a government program or simply acting as the “bridge” between the underserved and influential people or businesses, the advocacy arm of our organization is about education and empowerment. The Society empowers people to become more self-sufficient and encourages all to learn how they can change their own circumstances, whatever those may be. Find out more about our Advocacy programs.
Collaboration & Referrals: Our Network Impacts Thousands.
We work with other people and organizations of good will to relieve needs and address its causes. Having served the Galveston- Houston community since 1871, we have grown our network to encompass a multitude of resources in the event additional support is needed. Those same resources many times call on us. In fact, everyday we receive over 200 calls either referring people to the Society or directly from people in need.
Emotional and Spiritual Support: Compassion for People Drives Us.
We live the Gospel, praying with people and lending an ear when we can. Loving and compassionate interest in individuals is one of our primary roles. The direct person-to-person dialogue that Vincentians, people working at our resale shops, and those hard-working individuals at our pantries have with those in need truly distinguishes the Society from other social agencies. When we have a good understanding of the root of the cause, we can address longer-term solutions for helping our friends lead self-sufficient, dignified lives.
Disaster Relief: People Helping People Get Back on Their Feet.
When disaster strikes, Society of St. Vincent de Paul Galveston-Houston steps in to help individuals and families recover from what can sometimes be a devastating and life-altering loss. Although we are not first responders in a time of disaster, our network of regional conferences collaborate and often dispatch volunteers to disaster areas once the location has been secured and is safe to enter. We can help start the process of getting people back to some sense of normalcy. The Society works to provide basic needs in terms of food, clothing, and furniture or other home goods that may need to be replaced in the event of a natural disaster. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul works to help get those impacted by disaster not only temporary relief, but also get them moving toward self-sufficient and dignified living.
*The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is an equal opportunity provider and employer.