St. Vincent de Paul Helpline assists people who need help. Please note this form is for new Help Requests only. We have it in both English and Spanish below. If you have already called the Helpline and have a request that is pending, please follow-up with our Helpline Call Center at (206) 767-6449, M-F, 8am-3pm.
We want you to meet Leah and her son Rylan, who were homeless for two years. With your generous donations, we were able to support this young family in their journey to find stability. Leah now has employment and, just recently, she found housing with assistance from St. Vincent de Paul of Seattle King County. This short video gives you a unique and special insight into their lives.
Ned Delmore, Executive Director of St. Vincent de Paul, made a powerful observation in his remarks at the 2017 Blue Dress Breakfast on May 10 after presenting the Leah Story Video to 350 donors attending the breakfast.
He said: “St. Vincent de Paul believes that the best antidote to reducing homelessness is preventing people from becoming homeless.”
(read his breakfast remarks here)
This story was relayed to us by one of our case managers:
“We just met with a family, a young man and his wife. She is expecting their first child, due around Christmas. They were brought in by their friends, another couple that has five children.
They live in a local tent city alternative community. They were looking for help with the $30 rent fee for the camp. They also asked about a clothing voucher and bus tickets. More importantly and perhaps more impact fully, the man asked about a job.
One of our stores was hiring a donation attendant. We introduced him to the manager. And he applied for the position. We let him know he could come see us at the case management office to get practical help in his job search. We offered to help him write his resume. We also offered to look up and help him apply for jobs.
He was very forthright with us—telling us how difficult it is to be in this position—no job and no home and a family. He said he never thought that he would be in this position — especially with their first child being born in around Christmas.
The family left feeling visibly lifted and empowered to move ahead. The looks on their faces were filled with hope. That is why we are grateful to our donors, who help us with funds to assist people like this family.”
This is an important article about relationships with each other. Written by SVdP Executive Director Ned Delmore, this op-ed piece reviews life changing events and realities. Take a long view. Think about your life experiences. We are all in this together.
Opinion: The Seattle Times
It’s on us to recognize and break down racial divides.
Originally published in The Seattle Times on July 20, 2016
Relationships I have formed and the lessons I have learned from my black brothers and sisters have been life giving and guided how my wife and I raised our children.
By Ned Delmore
Special to The Seattle Times
As we watch the images of our cities rupturing and our communities staggering forward with unremitting fear and uncertainty of what is next, what are each of us left with to consider? We are stunned, saddened and silenced by the absurdities around us.
Chances are you may well arrive at a point within where you feel your own conflicted thoughts and biases. I would humbly ask that you each take some serious time, find a quiet space, and examine your own conscience.
The seeds of my conflict began in a household of 10 brothers and sisters in the ’50s and ’60s behind the closed doors of our Capitol Hill home here in Seattle. There was no escaping poverty nor the vitriol that flowed from the blistering words of my father’s lips. My social and cultural formation had taken root, and it affected me deeply.
When I entered Meany Junior High School in 1965, I was immersed in a school that was 90 percent black. Fear and trepidation pulsed through me as I struggled with my own biases and misperceptions. Hooking up with a group of kids on the basketball team was the beginning of my transformation.
My eyes and ears opened further when I entered the great halls of Garfield High School, which was predominantly black. What I learned in the classrooms, hallways and on the basketball court helped educate and prepare me for college, graduate school at Seattle University, and would later guide me through a fulfilling career in the juvenile court system.
The relationships I formed and the lessons I learned from my black brothers and sisters have been life giving and ultimately guided how my wife Janet and I raised our children. I continue to see the effect on my life today, as it directly influences my work at St. Vincent de Paul.
The racial divide that engulfs us is equally a relational divide. I claim no cultural awareness expertise, but I have found in my limited experience that if we pay attention to each other and listen carefully and respectfully in our homes, work places, churches, streets and community centers, and reveal our own truths and show our own vulnerable humanity, we begin to connect with the core values of one another. Our soul lightens. The seeds of a healthier community begin to take hold.
This is arduous, humbling work; it takes energy and courage, especially when the voices begin to rise around us and the tension tightens in our gut. In those situations, we can choose to flee the scene or stay in the moment and hear the full story. We must talk to each other about our doubts and fears that get in the way of forming healthy relationships. It is unnerving and sometimes difficult to be fully present and extend an empathetic ear. We must become aware of the ingrained thinking that conveniently labels and stereotypes those who are different from us.
The wise poet and writer Wendell Berry asks us to imagine lives that are not our own. Doing so takes empathy, putting ourselves in the skin of the other.
What are our choices? Living in fear and isolation suffocates human life. There is a base need in all of us humans to live fully in community. Creating time and space in our lives, slowing ourselves down to hear each other mutually lifts the human spirit. Arming ourselves with a listening and compassionate heart, staying present, and seeing the face of one another are the moments when healing and understanding take root. Our world is better for it.
Ned Delmore of Seattle is the executive director for St. Vincent de Paul Seattle / King County. He previously served as a juvenile court administrator.
It takes a village to host a successful fundraising event like our Third Annual Blue Dress Breakfast on Tuesday, May 10, 2016. Our Master of Ceremonies, John Curley, led the hour-long event that included a unique staff and student fashion show, an emotionally-charged video that told a story (see below) about one of our Centro Rendu clients, and a silent auction. Our Honorary Chairs this year, Pat Kennedy and Melissa Ries, have been major supporters and matched every donation over $250 since this event’s genesis. We also had generous contributors like Pat and Mary Welch who kicked off the Breakfast giving with their generous gift of $25,000. We are pleased to say our little yet mighty village helped raise close to $300,000. Our goal is $350,000 – could you help us get there?
If you prefer to write and mail in a check, please make it payable to:
St. Vincent de Paul of Seattle | King County
5950 4th Ave South
Seattle, WA 98108
In the meantime, check out the highlights below and relive the Blue Dress Breakfast:
The Story of Loina
Loina grew up with a single mother in Central America, where they both struggled to make ends meet. After much consideration, Loina felt it was more essential to support her mother by working rather than attend school. She was only ten-years-old.
In 2003, she decided to leave her country with hopes to find a better life in the United States. The struggles of living in a depressed economy and the dangers of gang violence exacerbated her challenges of being the single provider for her large household. Attempting to seek refuge in a foreign land, she faced hardships along the way that threatened her safety and well-being.
Loina heard about Centro Rendu through an outreach event at her son Josue’s school in Kent, which led her to St. Vincent de Paul. There, she found a safe haven to fill the void of being away from her homeland. Loina credits Centro Rendu with her strengthened ability to advocate for Josue at school and access a wide range of opportunities she only thought possible in her dreams. Below, she shares her personal narrative with us:
Additionally, we could not have produced the Breakfast without the sponsorship of Seattle University and President Fr. Stephen Sundborg, SJ (featured below on left), please follow this link to view his prayer. Also, if you missed the moving remarks of Executive Director Ned Delmore (as shown below on right), please click this link.
Missed the Event but Would Like to Donate?
If you prefer to write and mail in a check, please make it payable to:
St. Vincent de Paul of Seattle | King County
5950 4th Ave South
Seattle, WA 98108
A small silk rug brought in $600. A porcelain owl, $600.
A large folio Frank Lloyd Wright book, $350.
A gold ring with small diamonds, $450.
On any given week, that’s what Companis Worker Tom Tiberio, antiques expert and appraiser, can find reviewing goods donated to St. Vincent de Paul’s five thrift shops. And he loves that the fruits of his labors bring increased revenue — he estimates $2,000 to $3,000 monthly — to the many shelter programs operated by SVdP, the county’s most-referred homeless services agency.
Companis connects volunteers with nonprofit agencies that need staffing assistance. Their volunteers work in medical clinics for homeless women, teach job skills, sit with our homeless neighbors over a meal, help low-income people get affordable medical care, and much more.
Companis says “we make a difference.” Every day. They do and they did for us.
“That’s what I love about my placement,” he says. “Companis takes peoples’ skills and puts them into places where those skills are needed, where maybe they wouldn’t be otherwise available.”
On this particular day, Tom examined and flagged for sale at auction bracelets, rings and pendants, vintage Barbie dolls, a Japanese lute-like instrument covered with cobra skin, an antique accordion, two hand-carved pipes, an imposing replica of a Korean crown, a pale fur jacket, and a collection of rare Masonic items. As he does so, he is teaching store employees how to identify the more valuable items that are donated.
“I get excited when I see Tom,” says Lori Bedwell, store operations manager. “We are learning so much from him, and it’s helping us earn more money from the items we sell. It’s been a great experience having him here.”
Tom’s placement is just one of more than 800 Companis has made over 22 years, greatly expanding capacity for Seattle area nonprofits.
Our Renton St. Vincent de Paul thrift store has launched a new section for young women customers. The strategy for this new area is to display junior girl clothing, jewelry, shoes and accessories in location in our Renton store. We are aiming for young female customers from 12 to 20 something. The St. Vincent de Paul Renton store is located at 575 Rainier Ave. North in Renton. The phone number is 425.226.9426.
Our team of volunteer coordinators at St. Vincent de Paul tailor individual and group projects for people who want to give back to their community. One such avenue is Adopt a Store. The St. Vincent de Paul Adopt a Store Program is a unique volunteer opportunity for individuals who wish to help our five thrift stores accomplish tasks that are difficult to complete. We are a 501 (c)(3) non-profit with five thrift stores. We always have many store projects that our staff members have trouble getting to due to the daily routine of serving customers, handling donations and keeping things in the store orderly.
To the St. Joseph Parish Young Adult Group, we would like to offer our thanks and gratitude for your hard work and efforts this past weekend. This large gathering of 12 members came to the St. Vincent de Paul Aurora Thrift Store to help with various special projects. They donated about 45 hours of service executing projects that would have otherwise remain undone.
The St. Joseph Adopt a Store Volunteers arrived at 10 a.m., received a briefing, and divided into teams, working for over three hours. One team cleaned up entire exterior premises of the store, such as the parking lot and side streets, removed weeds, and disposed of litter. Another team sorted two big boxes (gaylords) of clothing, folding and arranging them in an systematic fashion for staff to place on in-store display racks.
Then another team “flipped” the store by moving racks from one section of the store to another. The St. Joseph Young Adults team moved all of the winter clothing racks to the back of the store and situated instead spring clothing to the front of the store. If that wasn’t enough, they also waxed the chrome racks where clothes hang to help eliminate the squeaky noise.
Their efforts were significant and we thank them for Adopting St. Vincent de Paul Aurora! For more information on our Adopt a Store Program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In mid-December 2015, the St. Vincent de Paul Centro Rendu program hosted a special graduation event at Kent Memorial Park in Kent.
St. Vincent de Paul visits over 12,000 neighbors annually. Many of them are moms with kids. Their stories are very real. They are typically on the verge of eviction. The stories are sad and troubling in so many ways. Your donations help our volunteers work with these young mothers and their kids. Without your generous contributions, we wouldn’t be able to do this work. Below is a story about a mom we recently helped. We will call her Linda.
Last week we went out to visit and take food to Linda. She has four daughters and is a victim of domestic violence. She is still being treated for physical as well as mental trauma. We were amazed at her courage as she calmly talked and even joked about her daily battles with a range of problems that seemed overwhelming.
She has been unable to work and her kids have had to move schools more than once, their apartment’s toilets work only intermittently. The apartment has mold, the spores from which have made her and one of her daughters sick. She and the kids have bad dreams on a regular basis. They lock and bar the doors at night. And nights are long and fearful.
Once, as we are talking, her eyes filled with tears as she told us how one of her children had asked her if it was OK to talk to her counselor about what she had seen her father do to her Mother. She had had to tell her daughter that it was alright to open up – Linda explained that the pain her and her daughter might suffer with all these feelings was another high mountain they would have to cross.
Listening to Linda, we realized how weak and easily discouraged most of us would be if we faced a fraction of what she had to deal with on a daily basis. As we left, she thanked us for our visit. And as we walked away from her apartment, we realized we should have been thanking her for such an inspirational example of faith, acceptance and courage.