The Best Antidote to Reducing Homelessness
Is Preventing People from Becoming Homeless.
St. Vincent de Paul joins the community to listen, engage,
and build relationships that assist and advocate for individuals
and families to meet basic needs and achieve stability and self-sufficiency. We inherited a set of values, convictions, and ideals from our founders. They taught us a radical love that honors and protects human dignity as a birthright for all of our neighbors. You have to stick with love. It is the only answer.
Keeping families and individuals in their homes and preventing eviction is one of the primary functions performed by St. Vincent de Paul. We have been doing this work in Seattle for 97 years. Founded in France in 1833, we are now serving people in 150 countries.
Our essential work in King County revolves around 800 volunteers who work in over 50 local neighborhood volunteer groups, listening and helping our neighbors in need. Our Helpline Call Center manages over 40,000 calls per year from neighbors seeking assistance. Many of these calls are desperate families and young mothers seeking help to pay rent or utilities. (Callers are often referred to other agencies for services and may not result in home visits).
We want you to meet Leah and her son Rylan, who were homeless for two years. Because of generous financial support from donors, 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. Watch her video.
Last year in King County, we responded to over 120,000 requests for aid, through home visits, case management, the Georgetown Food Bank and other related programs. Out of all the requests, we assisted in keeping over 4,000 families in their homes and off the streets.
St. Vincent volunteers go out in pairs and conduct over 12,000 home visits annually. We see, listen and respond to the needs of our neighbors. Our home visit work gives us a true and accurate picture of struggling families here in Seattle and King County. St. Vincent is often able to assist neighbors to get ahead of eviction by helping to pay that extra rent of $300 or $400 dollars for the thousands of people teetering on the edge of homelessness.
According to numerous research reports fighting homelessness by preventing evictions can save taxpayers as much as $50,000 per year per person.
Ned Delmore, Executive Director of St. Vincent de Paul, made a powerful observation at the 2017 Blue Dress Breakfast on May 10 after presenting Leah’s Story 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.”
When SVdP is called, we show up on the front lines in neighborhoods all over King County. St. Vincent de Paul works with other agencies for single mothers and our senior citizens who cannot stretch their limited dollars and need to pay the overdue electrical bill while worrying about the threat of eviction. It can stem from insufficient income, unexpected health diagnosis, job loss, an injury, a mental disorder and more. All of these situations can and do hasten the inevitability of homelessness. Poverty has no boundaries.