Allen County Ohio St. Vincent de Paul assistance programs.

St. Vincent de Paul provides support to low income families that are working to end the cycle of poverty. There may also be assistance for residents of Allen County that are facing an unexpected emergency, such as an illness, disaster, or short term loss of income. The non-profit will try to address the most critical needs around shelter as well as food.

The two stables of housing and nutrition are needed to prevent hunger or homelessness. This means that there may be free food from a pantry or funds for paying a portion of rent or energy bills. Other needs, such as transportation to a critical job interview or vouchers for work clothing, may also be sometimes met. Any short term, emergency aid will also require the applicant to take steps to regain stability.

The Thrift Shop from the churches that are part of Saint Vincent has new items stocked weekly. The center, which is open to the public, serves many families and people can shop there for household items, clothing, bedding, and furniture needs.

This can be a place for anyone to turn to. It is for bargain hunters, or those that are just looking to free up their money for paying other bills. Not only that, there are also occasional sales or daily cost saving deals, and these too can make the store affordable for everyone. The money raised goes to pay other overhead expenses of the non-profit.

Allen County St. Vincent de Paul operates several food programs that serve the nutritional needs of local low-income households. The main resources are noted below.

-One service also serves disabled young adults over the age of 18 who are enrolled in school programs for persons with disabilities.

-Food stamps, or SNAP, serves as the first line of defense against hunger. It is state of Ohio and federally funded.

-Those from Allen County who are in need of additional food for their families during a given month can turn to the numerous local St. Vincent supported pantries and soup kitchens. Please contact the pantry of your choice to confirm its days and hours of operation.




-Free nutritious meals as well as snacks are available during the summer months for children from low-income families who are 18 years old and younger.

St. Vincent de Paul seasonal services are available throughout the year. The assistance will be for income qualified low income residents. These particular programs are administered by a combination of volunteers as well as other local charities that both donate items as well as time.

Some examples of what is available in Lima Ohio are below. As noted, these tend to run at certain times of the year, with the application period much earlier than the actual event. So Christmas assistance registrations may be available starting in September or October.

Saint Vincent partner charities can sometimes assistance with Children's Christmas Gifts or Holiday (Thanksgiving and Christmas) meals or food baskets. There may be Easter Meals or Back to School supplies, such as uniforms or backpacks. Students without a free school lunch from a location in Allen County may also be able to get a snack during the summer. Other programs may also be run during the year.

The churches that are part of St. Vincent will sometimes receive donations or government grants. This money can be used to provide for Emergency Financial Assistance and Basic Living Needs, with an emphasis on utility bills, rent, or medical needs.

Income and other wise qualified individuals and families may be able to get help with a portion of rent or mortgage if they have an eviction notice; utility or water bills if they have a shut-off or disconnect notice; motel vouchers; medications; transportation/gasoline for a job interview; or burials if the individual is not on one of the government sponsored assistance programs.




Basic Living Need can also be met by the thrift store. In cases in which an applicant's income is low enough, they may be given a voucher for use at the store. This will allow the Allen County resident to get free clothes, work attire, or even furniture if they are recovering from a disaster.

This form of support is very limited. The church based St. Vincent will try to support as many families as possible so they do not go hungry or homeless, but many need to be referred to other local resources. For more information on St. Vincent de Paul in Lima, the address is 928 S Main St, Lima, OH 45804. Or dial (419) 224-3569.


By Jon McNamara

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