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St. Vincent de Paul Chicago Impacts Poverty

2/29/2012 - 1:05 PM PST

Catholic PRWire

CHICAGO, IL (February 29, 2012) - The Society of St. Vincent de Paul Chicago (SVdP) released its 2011 Annual Report, which demonstrated the impact of their programs and services on poverty and those in need in both Chicago and other communities located in Cook and Lake Counties. Overall, SVdP Chicago provided more than $5,500,000 in financial, material, and educational support to people in need in 2011. This past year he Society helped nearly 460,000 people.

This support helped people stay in their homes, keep the electric, the gas and the water turned on, or paid other bills; thereby giving people help and offering them hope. Direct financial assistance amounted to $2 million in 2011 while food, clothing, furniture, household furnishings, and professional services amounted to $3.8 million. This assistance provided by the Society had a direct economic impact on poverty and need.

"We are grateful to the devotion of our members to our mission of service to the poor," said Michael Harrington, president of St. Vincent de Paul Chicago. "With the current economy, our members and financial resources continue to be stretched to their limits, so the willingness of the members of the Society to step up and meet this need is impressive."

SVdP's volunteers, numbering more than 2,000, work in 124 Conferences in Cook and Lake counties, providing financial assistance, goods and services through person-to-person assistance in its conferences. In addition to these conferences the Society has 47 food pantries and two thrift stores. These volunteers devoted nearly 220,000 hours of service to the poor while driving 176,688 unreimbursed miles in such service.

These food pantries, each with an all-volunteer staff, provides groceries for the homeless and working poor, serving an average of more than 6,000 men, women and children per week. The Society's Executive Director Frieda Bertello said "there has been recent news coverage about the children who are homeless, living in cars or abandoned buildings, but still going to school with empty stomachs. It makes for good press, but the horrible truth is this should not happen in America - the richest nation in the world."

According to the Chicago News Cooperative, the number of supportive housing units in Chicago has increased by 88 percent, from 3,598 in 2002 to 6,779 last year, there are still not nearly enough of them to house the city's estimated 94,000 homeless. The unemployment rate in the Chicago metropolitan area rose to 9.3 percent in December from 8.6 percent a year earlier. But it fell from 9.8 percent in November, the Illinois Department of Employment Security said recently.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul Chicago empowers people, regardless of their background, ethnicity, or faith, to achieve self-sufficiency by offering financial, material, educational, and spiritual support and by collaborating with others to develop and deliver programs and services that help those in need.

About St. Vincent de Paul
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul Chicago has been serving the needy since 1857, and it is the oldest charity in Chicago. The Society has more than 2,200 Vincentian volunteers throughout Cook and Lake Counties, who help provide life's basic necessities -- food, shelter, clothing, transportation, emotional comfort and more -- to needy individuals and families. Additionally, SVdP operates two thrift stores and 47 food pantries. To learn more or to donate about St. Vincent de Paul Chicago, please visit


Society of St. Vincent de Paul Chicago  IL, 60661 US
David Staudacher - Community Awareness and Marketing Coordinator, 


St. Vincent de Paul, Chicago, Poverty, charity, cook county, lake county, illinois,


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