It's been several weeks since Governor Abbott issued a "stay-at-home" statement. Since then, many hard-working Houstonians have been impacted financially. Our Vincentians are doing their best to provide assistance. These are some of the stories our Vincentians have shared from our friends-in-need.
Martha* called our helpline on March 26, requesting food and financial assistance. We referred her to the Society Chapter at St. Michael the Archangel.
Martha was scared, alone, and with little food in the cupboards. She is a hard working woman who worked 10 years as a waitress for a chain restaurant. She worked nights at two different locations. The chain paid her $2/hour, so most of her income came from tips.
Like many others in the service industry, the restaurant sent her home without pay due to COVID-19. Martha is over 50, lives a simple life, owns a simple phone with no internet service, and does not own a vehicle. Although she lives paycheck to paycheck, she has rarely experienced a time in life when she could not pay her bills until now.
She has made multiple attempts to file for unemployment, but due to the high volume of callers she has been unsuccessful. She tries every day but it has been a challenge to get through the phone lines.
Her rent was $665 plus $100 for Utilities. Our Vincentians were able to provide her with food, financial assistance, and referrals to other agencies that may be able to help her. They also prayed together.
"I'm grateful to you all. You're “angels” sent to help me." - Martha*
Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. Hebrews 13:16
About the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP): The Society is a faith-based nonprofit organization helping families living in poverty in the greater Galveston-Houston area since 1871. We are a network of 58 parish-based chapters with over 1,800 Vincentian volunteers actively doing Home Visits every day. Stories are submitted monthly by our Vincentians in the form of short reflections of their encounters with the poor. Vincentians endeavor to establish relationships based on trust and friendship. Conscious of their own frailty and weakness, their hearts beat with the heartbeat of the poor. They do not judge those they serve. Rather, they seek to understand them as they would a brother or sister. The Society serves everyone in need regardless of creed, ethnic or social background, health, gender, religious belief, or political opinions. *Some names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.
About our Society Conference at St. Michael the Archangel: St. Michael is a large and generous parish located in the Galleria area. The St. Michaels Conference serves the area of west of the Galleria to near Beltway 8. They are a diverse area of more than 100,000 people, many of which live in poverty. The Conference has experienced a record number of requests recently. The requests will exceed available funds.