St. Vincent DePaul Financial Report for 2020
by Tom Kwest
The year 2020 was a challenging year for St. Vincent DePaul. Due to the pandemic, we had to change the way we operate. Due to social distancing rules, we stopped making home visits. We could not have two Vincentians ride together to the home visit, nor could we count on the required 6-foot distance between people when we made the visit. Not all neighbors in need wore a mask. If we made an “other visit,” it was outside on the porch, the front walkway, or in some cases, an interior hallway of an apartment building or the St. Francis of Assisi Gathering Space. Other visits also meant just getting information on the phone, which made it even more important for our call takers to ask for the information that our home visitors would normally get.
The pandemic got worse around April: businesses were closing; cutting back on employee hours; and, in some cases, operating in carryout or delivery mode only. Our neighbors in need lost work hours, were furloughed, or lost their jobs. They fell months behind in rent and utilities. Unemployment compensation cases skyrocketed, and the Jobs & Family Services could not keep up with the demand. The government stepped in and gave money to statewide community action agencies like Miami Valley Community Action Partnership (MVCAP) to help pay rents and utilities.
MVCAP offered eviction protection for tenants, but there was a catch. The tenant had to try to make a payment agreement with the landlord and had to apply to a government agency for help. Our Dayton District Council (DDC) urged us to use MVCAP, so we became advocates for our neighbors in need. We followed our neighbors in need for months to get them their help because MVCAP was bogged down due to handling four counties. In one instance, I had about 6 families who owed a combined $10,000 in back rent and/or utilities whom I assisted.
Thanks to the generosity of our parishioners, we can help our neighbors with rent and utility needs now and be prepared for what might happen in 2021. We have also been able to twin with the Urban Outreach Center (which handles the area formerly handled by St. Benedict the Moor Conference) and some other conferences which needed help.
Here is a summary of what we spent from January 1st to December 31st of 2020.
Twinning * $2,200.00 *given to Urban Outreach Center
Twinning ** $750.00 **given to other Conferences
Whatsoever you do for the least of my brethren, that you do unto Me. Nobody does that better than our parishioners. Thank you for helping us to help those in need!