The Society is organized under a simple principle called The Rule. The essence of The Rule is that members look to their local community and reach out to its poor. Members are directed to open their eyes and hearts to suffering, identify the causes and work diligently to permanently remove those causes.
St. Vincent Store sales and community donations are combined with resident’s donations to support the Dan Austin Transitional Support Services Center (TSSC) Food Pantry. Here, the residents of St. Vincent’s Transitional Housing Shelter , the homeless and those in need can get food. This resource helps every household in the shelter stretch their income to meet the nutritional needs of their family. When possible, SVdP budgets funds to purchase food vouchers (grocery gift certificates) for non-residents who come to us in need. In addition, during the “Project Homeless Connect” community event, SVdP distributes an addtional $2,500 in food vouchers to those who are homeless in Juneau.
For more than 30 years at St. Vincent de Paul strives to “no one leaves hungry.”
Supported primarily from the Walk for the Poor and holiday season donations, over 200 Thanksgiving Dinner Baskets—frozen turkeys with all the fixings, including pumpkin pie—are distributed to needy families. Most families are sponsored by one or more service organizations or agencies. Long-time donors and volunteers make this happen with the support of SVdP staff.
Every Christmas, SVdP connects donors with local families in its Adopt-a-Family program that cannot afford even the most modest Christmas for their children. Volunteers and staff coordinate the applications from families and donors shop for specific children by age and gender with information on clothing and shoe size and that “something special” wished for. In 2018, more than 200 children benefitted from this program.
In addition, to food, holiday programs, SVdP helps local folks with utility bills, medical expenses, eviction prevention and other “bumps in the road” through its aid programs, including its Home Visit Team. We are one of the few places a person who is not a regular “case-managed” client of a social service agency can go to ask for temporary assistance. At the same time, we work closely with all our colleagues in the Juneau Coalition on Housing and Homelessness to help the members of our common family. We do not amass large sums in operating reserves. If we have it, it is available to help others. That is what we do.