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Memphis and Shelby County St. Vincent de Paul assistance programs.

Volunteers and churches are part of St. Vincent de Paul in Memphis Tennessee. The charity serves the working-poor and low-income community, and it is made up of local faith based groups, churches and generous members of the community.

They can provide direct aid and services to the needy, however they also collaborate with other groups to better coordinate limited resources. Together they offer food, clothing, and maybe emergency financial aid. Some of their partners include philanthropic institutions, government agencies and social service agencies and together they help thousands of struggling and unemployed clients each year.

St. Vincent de Paul also supports impoverished residents of all towns and cities in the greater Shelby county area, and the organization attempts to avoid overlapping its programs with those provided by similar community service agencies.

Disadvantaged individuals and families can turn to the charity for emergency assistance with a variety of needs, including when facing a crisis. In addition to providing shelter to homeless persons, the agency offers financial aid for housing or rent, free food and clothing to clients in an emergency situation. As funds are limited, if they can’t assist, then referrals are available to other groups in Shelby County.

Social workers from St. Vincent de Paul council intend to help recipients of assistance become self-sufficient and maintain self-respect. As such, these staff members help individuals identify and develop work-related skills and abilities.

The non-profit charity directs or refers individuals who are homeless or in danger of becoming evicted to other humanitarian agencies that provide either loans for rental expenses or transitional housing services. Catholic Charities and the Salvation Army in Memphis are key partners, and they are among the organizations that offer such assistance programs. Case managers at these agencies help clients find permanent, low income homes or apartments to live in as well.





Financial assistance is available from Memphis St. Vincent de Paul to help needy individuals and families afford the cost of bills when they are out of options. There may be help for paying rent, utility or heating service. Vouchers or cash grants may be used too, such as for prescription medications and other essential expenses.

As with any charity, the agency has limited resources and number of grants to issue in the Memphis area. They only provide monetary aid when possible to clients in emergency situations to prevent evictions, homelessness or termination of utility service. If there is not funding, find additional emergency grants for paying bills.

Although St. Vincent de Paul offers direct cash assistance or maybe even loans on occasion, the organization usually refers clients to another local service agency that can provide support as their funding is so very limited. In addition, staff members and volunteers offer referrals to state of Tennessee public aid programs. Families can learn about places in Shelby County that offer shelter, basic goods and crisis relief services to victims of disasters, such as fires.

St. Vincent de Paul helps qualified individuals and families obtain food, with priority given to children and senior citizens. This need can be met by gift certificates or free food vouchers, all of which are available to clients. Volunteers from local churches and community service organizations in Memphis also deliver meals to homebound individuals or prepare and serve hot meals to needy persons.

Thrift shops operated by churches and the charity in Shelby County feature a variety of items for sale at affordable prices. Goods donated to these thrift stores include shoes, clothing, holiday toys, kitchen appliances, accent tables and other small pieces of furniture. The merchandise is sold to the general public, and St. Vincent de Paul uses the funds raised at the shops to cover the costs of the programs the organization administers.




Much more aid is available from the society. The organization also provides referrals to local clinics for medical care. Other programs in the Memphis district include counseling, job training and placement and general case management. St. Vincent de Paul emphasizes job referrals in particular, as employment is key to stability.

For more information regarding any of the aforementioned services, contact St. Vincent de Paul in the Shelby County region. The agency can be reached at 3522 Carnes, Memphis, TN, 38111, or call (901) 722-4703.


By Jon McNamara

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