Saint Vincent Society Marin County financial assistance programs.

Those who are struggling, poor, or low income in Marin County California can call upon St. Vincent de Paul Society for assistance. The charity and its partner churches will normally help thousands of families every month. Programs can provide free food, security deposits, utility bill assistance, housing, social services and more. When you have nowhere else to turn to for help in Marin County, check in with St. Vincent.

If you are currently homeless or facing imminent eviction, then you can call or visit their Homeless Help Desk. This is a housing resource available which can provide those who need help with some basic items, information, support, and guidance. Social workers will work with individuals and family in order to help improve your housing situation. The desk is located at 822 B Street in San Rafael, but is open limited hours. All applications are processed on a first come, first served basis, and services are offered in Spanish as well.

Meals and food is offered to the hungry, and most items are distributed in the morning. St. Vincent de Paul does not ask for proof of immigration status, identification, and all meals are free.

There may be a waiting period in order to get served a meal, and the program relies heavily on volunteers. In addition to the hot meal, bag items may be provided on your way out. A food pantry is also located in Marin County, and people can stop by for canned goods, emergency food boxes, and other items.

The St. Vincent Free Dining Room relies on volunteers, and neighbors provide neighbors with a place for respite, hot food, and compassion. The center offers individualized assistance to help the low income and neediest neighbors obtain affordable housing, nutritious food, meaningful employment and a voice in the community.

The meal service and dining room was opened in the 1980s as a free kitchen to serve Marin County's poor and hungry citizens. Over 100,000 meals are served per year.  Many diners are unemployed, working poor, or were faced with unexpected bills and expenses. Others are living below the poverty line and trying to make ends meets. The soup kitchen can also help senior citizens and people with disabilities. The Dining Room offers a welcoming and warm place to go for those who do not have housing.





Rental, utility, and energy bill assistance may be available to those who are facing eviction or who are unable to pay their utility bill. First you should call the help line at 415-454-3303. You will need to provide your address, name, and phone number, and more than likely an appointment can be set up. There is a formal application process in place for someone to receive financial assistance, and all aid and resources are limited.

Transportation assistance can be offered to those who need help purchasing a low cost car. A program is in place and can be reached at 415-258-5226. Any car that someone buys will undergo a smog check as well as a vehicle safety inspection before they are sold to the public. Providing cars and automobiles is a service that can help people get back to work.

The Homeless Help Desk helps hundreds of people per year. The charity organization may be able to coordinate limited financial aid, referrals, information on public aid, and help people find a place to live. Every year people get assistance in finding safe and affordable, permanent housing.

Referrals, information and home visits are conducted by the Marin County St. Vincent organization. Volunteers and/or staff from the charity organization visit low income and struggling people who have requested help. A focus of the aid and support provided is on homeless prevention. As part of this home visit process, the volunteer can review with the family options for financial assistance, including rental assistance, money for utility bills, food, security deposits and more. No cash is provided, however if you are found to be qualified then funds will be paid directly to your landlord or utility company. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is especially committed to helping families with children and to keeping children housed, to provide the security and stability that kids need. Hundreds of these visits occur every year.

Short term transition and affordable housing units are available. The Marin County California St. Vincent de Paul Society owns and manages several low income apartments that are located above the Dining Room. These apartments provide short term housing for very low income and chronically homeless residents of the region. These housing units and apartments are short term in nature, so people will need to find more permanent housing.

Emergency assistance and social services are offered by St. Vincent de Paul Society of Marin County. The organization is committed to offering services to the poor, jobless and those in need of help, and they do it without using government or church funds. Other examples of the assistance provided, which is done so free of charge, is below.

  • Brief hotel or motel stays for stranded families or homeless.
  • Security and rental deposit assistance.
  • Transportation to job interviews or medical appointments.
  • Prescription drug medications for serious conditions.
  • Clothing, toiletries and other essentials and blankets.
  • Emergency food boxes.

To get more information or to apply for these services, call the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Marin County, and the organization can be reached at 415-454-3303.




By Jon McNamara

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