Mission – Inspired by Gospel values and in the tradition of its patron saint, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is a Catholic lay volunteer organization that leads people to grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service to those who are lacking resources and suffering. Members of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul are keenly aware that poverty, suffering and loneliness are present for many in our community. We strive to not only meet the immediate needs of those we serve, but also seek to collaborate with others to address poverty’s causes.
What We Do – In central Illinois, our parish-based conferences operate 9 food pantries and provide assistance to families in need with basic living expenses. Our home visit teams visit people in their homes to understand each situation. We provide referrals to community resources, pray with the family, and when we are able, provide financial assistance in paying outstanding bills.
Conference members meet regularly for reflection and prayer, fellowship, and to build our service. We collaborate with other community organizations to relieve need and address its causes through advocacy and community action.
Peoria Diocese by the Numbers: Our Assistance
(Oct 1, 2015 – Sept 30, 2016)
- 18 conferences in 25 parishes
- 826 Vincentian volunteers
- 56,626 hours of volunteer service
- $945,000 in direct financial assistance (rent, utilities, basic needs)
- $3,174,000 in-kind assistance (food, clothing, furnishings, household & personal products)
- 4,773 home / prison / hospital / elder-care visits helping 12,057 people
- 125,417 people served by nine food pantries, $ 3.7 million value
- “Coming Together to Get Ahead ” program in Peoria provides individuals wanting to escape poverty with an 18-week program to look at life now, envision their future, develop plans and we match each graduate with a mentor to support them on their journey to a better life.
The State of Poverty in America 2015
- According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2015 43.1 million people lived in poverty in America. This amounts to 13.5% of the population.
- 5 million children lived in poverty in 2015, a rate of 19.7%. This is the lowest child poverty rate since 2008.
- Decent work is critical to escaping poverty. 2015 saw 2.4 million more people enter the workforce and work full time than the previous year.
- Median household income also increased substantially, from $53,700 in 2014 to $56,500 in 2015. This was the first increase since 2007 and the largest single year increase ever recorded, however it was still over 1% lower than the 2007 total.
- Access to affordable health insurance coverage is also closely related to poverty. In 2015, 29 million Americans lacked health insurance, or 9.1% of the population, the lowest percentage of uninsured Americans on record.
- Health insurance coverage for children also continued to improve–less than 5% of all children are uninsured, as compared to 8.6% in 2009.
How the Society of St. Vincent de Paul helps
As one of the largest charitable organizations in the world, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (svdpusa.org) offers a variety of programs and services, including home visits, housing assistance, disaster relief, education and mentoring, food pantries, dining halls, clothing, assistance with transportation, prescription medication, and rent and utility costs to the needy and suffering. In 2015, SVdP provided over $1.2 billion in tangible and in-kind services to 23.8 million people regardless of race, religion or national origin. Vincentians also made more than 1.8 million personal visits to people in need at home, as well as in hospitals, prisons and eldercare facilities.
SVdP USA is a nonprofit, Catholic lay organization of more than 97,000 men and women in 4,400 communities.