Benton County St. Vincent de Paul programs.

Staff from Benton County St. Vincent de Paul work with individuals to help them gain self-sufficiency. During that journey, there may be resources available to address any short term needs. Whether it is lack of housing or food in Richland Washington, either direct assistance or referrals may be available.

The non-profit has information on many programs in Benton County. Some examples of them will include food from a pantry or grants for paying bills, including rent. Medical needs can be met as well, mainly around prescription drugs for life threatening conditions.

The Food Bank is really for anyone in need. Whether they are seniors, unemployed, or single households, they can visit the pantry. Participants may receive free groceries and food. The assistance is offered a few times per year, or exceptions can be made for more frequent visits in some circumstances.

St. Vincent de Paul of Benton County food pantry is client choice, so those that use the center can select only the groceries they need. So this means the location operates similar to a supermarket, and people can select fresh foods, canned goods, paper products, and more.

While more limited, there are also often toiletries, diapers, soap, shampoo, and feminine products in stock as well. Those items will also have their own application process. The exact amount of free or maybe low cost food provided depends on household size, including whether there are children in the home or not.

Donations from the Richland and Benton County community are used to offer nutritious choices for participants. The majority of the food distributed from the center comes from donations from individuals and others. There can be local restaurants, farms, Feeding America affiliates, charities like St. Vincent, and schools also contribute excess/overstock food and toiletry items.

While not quite as common, there may be food items available that can satisfy specific dietary needs. So there may be goods that are for diabetics, gluten free, low cholesterol, and more. Baby formula may also be offered to parents. Last, but not least, St. Vincent de Paul will be involved in special Thanksgiving and Christmas meal programs too.




Using many raised by government grants and donations from individuals, churches, the United Way, and occasional State of Washington agencies, there may be Emergency Assistance available. The exact type will vary based on the applicant's needs, but some examples of what bils that the funds or loans can be used for are below.

  • Housing costs, such as for rent or the utility bills needed to keep the occupants warm.
  • Cash assistance may be for paying security deposits for a new, affordable apartment.
  • St. Vincent de Paul of Richland and Benton County will help with basic, everyday needs such as clothing and car repairs, though this is very limited.
  • Prescription medication vouchers.
  • Job Search Expenses and Career Coaching.
  • Transportation to a job interview or medical appointment for a senior citizen.

Any type of help is for short term needs only. This support is not long term in nature. The goal of the money is to resolve a critical situation in the home. Long term needs will need to be met by the client using other methods.

There are cases in which parents, in particular single households, need help in paying for day care costs. When this occurs, the staff from the Society can refer people to child care assistance programs. The intent is to address this particular barrier to the person enrolling into successful employment or job training. Staff will also direct clients to local Child Care Resource & Referral agencies so they can look for providers.

Benton County St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store provides general material necessities and household goods to the community at low costs. There will be gently used shoes, clothing, dishes, linens, appliances, and furniture. These items are available as well as many other goods. The prices will be very affordable, and anyone can shop at the Thrift Store. Not only that, but the money brought in from the sale of goods at the Thrift Store goes to pay for the programs listed above.




Staff advocate on behalf of the working poor. This can help lead them to economic stability. This is also a form of self-sufficiency, which most people want. The non-profit will provide families the resources that can support their efforts towards achieving economic stability. A strengths-based approach is used during this approach.

Each service plan that is created with the input of a client is different and goals that are set are wide ranging. They can include improving a housing situation and usually touch upon finding employment. Other parents need help in obtaining quality child care or applying for long term aid, such as public benefits. The program will include Financial and Economic Stability Workshops in partnership with the county. There is also English as a Second Language Classes, Legal Counseling, Support for immigrants and more. As noted, the main site is in Richland and the number is (509) 946 – 1325.

By Jon McNamara

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