The Cincinnati Council of St. Vincent de Paul opened its doors in 1869, and ever since, it has been helping improve the lives of Hamilton County residents.
The organization is part of the international Society of St. Vincent de Paul, formed in Paris in 1833, but despite its international connections, its efforts are very much local.
“We are an organization of staff and volunteers, operating two outreach centers and seven thrift stores,” says Executive Director Mike Dunn. “We also help coordinate volunteers in 56 parishes, who go out into neighborhoods and assess how we can support them.”
St. Vincent de Paul provides emergency assistance by helping people deal with life crises including the threat of homelessness, job loss, divorce, and medical issues.
“We are there for anything a family could encounter that puts them on the precipice of losing their home,” says Dunn. “We assist in a crisis, helping people through that episode, then help them get stabilized, back on their feet, and moving forward.”
St. Vincent de Paul also offers rent and utility assistance, a food pantry, and a pharmacy, and in 2018, assisted more than 120,000 people.
St. Vincent de Paul serves the community from its outreach centers, the older of which is the Liz Carter Outreach Center, a 19th century building that has been its home since the 1960s.
However, its lack of space and amenities means it must rotate services, making some available only on certain days. That creates an extra barrier to services for lower-income residents, who may not have reliable access to transportation, says Dunn.
The solution, thanks to a portion of a $12 million fundraising campaign, is the new Don and Phyllis Neyer Outreach Center, which opens in November.
“It will give us the space to offer all services for the entirety of the center’s operation hours,” Dunn says.
He says Huntington has supported St. Vincent de Paul on the fundraising drive and on many other initiatives, as well.
“They’re sponsors of two of our largest annual fundraisers and have been very supportive of our community outreach programs,” Dunn says. “Every summer, we have a fan and air-conditioning unit distribution program, and Huntington has been a big help with that. We distributed about 1,000 fan and A/C units this summer. It’s been a great relationship for us.”
About the organization
Name: Cincinnati Council of St. Vincent de Paul
Phone: (513) 562-8841
Mission: Providing emergency aid to Hamilton County residents in need
How you can help
Visit svdpcincinnati.org/Give_Help to find out more about volunteering and donation opportunities.