A focus of the Society of Saint Vincent De Paul programs is on addressing housing challenges and preventing homelessness in San Mateo, South San Francisco, and Redwood City California. The organization and its partner churches and volunteers are committed to this, and also supporting the low income and people faced with poverty in any other way they can.
Many of the rent, housing, and utility assistance programs are administered from the SVdP’s Peninsula Family Resource Center. Volunteers and other staff work from this location, and undertake home visits, disburse aid, and provide other help. This is the resource that can pay out cash to your landlord or energy company.
Many volunteers from the PFRC visit the homes of seniors, the working poor, unemployed, and low income in the greater San Mateo County region. They lend a hand, offer support, and provide information and guidance when someone is faced with an emergency. Some of what can be offered includes free food, help for rent and utility bill payments, a hot meal, and more. All of this is done in order to keep individuals and families housed and ensure their nutritional needs are met.
In addition to this direct financial assistance, many other resources are offered from the St. Vincent Peninsula Family Resource Center. Qualified families, children, and others can receive vouchers that they can use to buy or shop for items for free. Individuals can buy furniture, clothing, and more at the thrift stores. So pick up shoes or a winter coat for your child, or maybe some work clothes for a new job or interview.
If you do need funds in order to prevent homelessness, a home visit will need to take place, and this is done by Vincentian volunteers. Individuals from the church or St. Vincent will be assigned to make a home visit, usually within 24 hours of the emergency call that you place. Call the PFRC phone number at (650) 343-4403 in order to request emergency financial assistance or support for rent or other housing needs.
While resources are of course limited, the charity will do what it can to help the less fortunate. In recent years over 10,000 home visits have been done, and hundreds of thousands of dollars have been paid to landlords and apartment managers for rent. This money was issued in order to help families stay housed. Tens of thousands of more dollars were paid out directly to utility companies for energy bills. Any calls for assistance are received through the Saint Vincent helpline. They may also receive referrals from collaborating San Mateo County service agencies or local non-profits.
Food and hot meals are provided as well. In some years, over $400,000 of food was directly purchased by the charity and then distributed or given in the form of food vouchers for redemption at local grocery stores or supermarkets. St. Vincent de Paul is always involved in providing food to the hungry in the community.
Shelters and Homeless Help Centers are also available in Redwood City, San Mateo, and the South San Francisco region. These Homeless Help Centers offer people with basic survival necessities, such as bus tokens, a free hot meal, clothing, ID cards, laundry, mail service, and sleeping bags. The organization is the leading daily vouchering agency for beds at San Mateo County shelters.
Another focus is on Disaster Preparedness, and the organization is well known for helping people in need in the California community. The Society of St. Vincent can support individuals when they are impacted by an earthquake, fire, pandemic flu outbreak, flood, terrorist attack or other man made or natural disaster. The organization can provide shelter, emergency food, clothing, sleeping bags, vouchers for needed items, and immediate survival assistance. They also work closely with the San Mateo County Office of Emergency Services, the American Red Cross, and Second Harvest Food Bank in California.
The main centers are listed below. Volunteers and donations are always needed, and all funds contributed go towards helping the needy in the community.
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