On Saturday December 21, 2013 the Seattle Times ran a column written by Rev. Patrick J. Howell of Seattle University. Father Howell writes a column every few weeks for the publication. Entitled “To spread season’s joy, help those in need,” Father Howell writes that ‘the work of the St. Vincent de Paul Society fits right in with Pope Francis’ mandate for the church ‘to be out on the streets’ helping people who are hurting.”
Our Seattle roots date to 1920. And for 93 years we have helped hundreds of thousands of Seattle families stay in their homes, keep the heat and lights on, and get furniture items to start a family, or secure clothing to plan a fresh beginning. We serve anyone and everyone unconditionally, no questions asked. Today, we are part of one of the largest independently managed non-profit organizations in the world.
In King County from Auburn to New Castle and North Bend to Burien and everywhere in between, our 50 plus volunteer neighborhood groups have quietly and without fanfare made thousands of home visits every year to help people who are struggling just to get by. That is St. Vincent de Paul.
Below is an excerpt from the Seattle Times article. And you can go to this link to read the full article: “To Spread Season’s Joy, Help Those in Need “
Ned explains how a mother of two may have a rent of $800 but can only come up with $650: “We cover the other $150 so that they won’t be evicted.”
Or a young mother, Melissa, is pregnant. She and her 2-year-old faced power being shut off. She owed $209 past due and needed $100 to prevent disconnection. She recently started working part time at a fast-food restaurant. New costs for day care left her unprepared to pay other bills. Donors pledged the $100 a month necessary to see her through.
“Our volunteers make 12,000 person-to-person visits annually,” Ned says, “helping people facing eviction for overdue rent or for utility payments, easing hunger and linking people to longer term case-management services.”
“We go to the people — where the people are hurting. Of course, we can’t address the vast need by ourselves. We partner with many others, such as Food Lifeline, Catholic Community Services of Western Washington, Chief Seattle Club, and Sound Mental Health — for food assistance, mental-health referrals and a host of other urgent needs. We are the No. 1 source for King County 2-1-1 referrals.”