St. Vincent de Paul of Seattle|King County invests over 90 cents of every dollar donated into programs to help people. Keeping that number high is a major responsibility and challenge we take very seriously. Whether you are donating $25, a bag of gently used clothes, a piece of furniture, or a $50,000 gift, we maximize the value of your donation to help people who need assistance.
There are three reasons why we are able to do this. First, volunteers are the heart and soul of our service delivery system. With 1,100 volunteers donating over 120,000 hours of service, we are able to maximize the efficiency of our spending for programs to help people. Second, we self-generate revenue for our organization through our thrift store sales and rental property we own. Third, we keep our administrative and fund raising expenses low.
St. Vincent de Paul Network of Neighborhood Chapters
At the heart of St. Vincent de Paul service to the poor is the “home visit,” where volunteers visit those who need assistance. Our 52 neighborhood groups make thousands of these in-home person-to-person visits annually in communities all around King County.
Home visits are effective for several reasons. (1) They treat people with dignity. (2) They enable us to establish trusting relationships. (3) They’re done quicker than a session at a social service agency. (4) They don’t require child care or transportation. (5) They help us really see and feel the need.
St. Vincent de Paul Council Complements Chapter Work
Our network of chapters makes up what we call the St. Vincent de Paul “Council.” The Council “office” operates a host of programs that support and complement the chapters. The office manages a Help Line Call Center, which is the “front door” through which people in need access St. Vincent de Paul services. The Help Line receives over 200 calls per day from people asking for assistance.
The Council office also runs a network of five thrift stores that provide poor people with clothing, job opportunities and sales receipts to help fund our programs. The Council office administers a chapter training program that equips volunteers with skills and techniques to help the poor. The office also manages a Food Bank that provides over 128,000 people with food.
St. Vincent de Paul Community Partnerships
Where possible, our home visit and case management program will help people move to self-sufficiency in a stable living environment. Our case management team works to build upon the trusting relationships we establish with poor people in home visits, and then extend that into more integrated case management services that are evidence based and utilize cognitive behavioral therapy methods.
As a result of our case management work, the Council office manages a group of relationships with numerous community service agencies all around King County. This is done to make sure the case management team is connected to high quality resources that can provide the best possible assistance to people who really need help. This also eliminates the need for the Council to duplicate services being delivered by another agency.