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Polk County Florida St. Vincent DePaul assistance programs.

The St. Vincent Depaul is proud of a long partnership with local charities that all help it run a local Food Pantry. This has been available since its establishment. The staff have referred numerous low-income clients to the pantry, which is a “choice food” location, meaning that it’s set up so that income qualified families and individuals can “shop” as they would in a grocery store. This allows clients to select foods they prefer, with no fear of judgment. This means they can pick canned items, such as soup or fruits, that their family needs. Of course they can only shop for what is available in the Polk County pantry.

Volunteers from across Polk County staff theSt. Vincent Pantry, ensuring that residents in need are supplied with free or low cost food on a semi-monthly or once-monthly basis. The Pantry is open each weekday, with some holiday meal services too. This may be special items for Christmas, Thanksgiving, or other key holidays such as Easter. For long term support, the volunteers will refer a client to state of Florida benefits, such as SNAP food stamps.

Additional social services from Saint Vincent in Polk County

Rental/Mortgage/Utility Bill Assistance – An intake process is required. Some of the application criteria in place by Saint Vincent include, but are not limited to, the following.

The applicant must have proof that any financial aid issued will prevent eviction. They need to be a resident of Polk County. The applicant needs to be out of all other options and sources of funding, whether from a charity or family member. Funds for housing expenses will only be issued if the applicant has a source of income. Lastly, the church will prioritize the elderly, disabled single, or a low to moderate income household with children.

When all conditions have been met, and if funds are available, then St. Vincent may provide a small amount of money for those bills. The Ministry may cover rental costs or utility bills, such as electric or water. This form of financial aid is based on many conditions.





The church has referrals to Polk County medical and dental clinics. These service very low income and/or homeless individuals in Lakeland Florida and nearby towns. Saint Vincent can give referrals to these types of locations for their basic medical or dental care. Volunteer nurse-practitioners operate the clinics at the emergency shelter a few mornings per week.

Another nurse-practitioner or volunteer doctor provides services at the center and also travels with the agency’s outreach team to offer medical assessments. They will arrange support to homeless persons who are reluctant to engage in a more formal service system. Moreover, a local dentist in Polk County Florida provides care as well to those that would otherwise go without.

Saint Vincent DePaul arranges assistance with the every-day tasks as part of Home Care. This service will allow seniors and younger people with disabilities to continue to live in their own homes. Respite is one service, and it will give a short-term break for family caregivers. Homemaking helps with laundry, light cleaning, shopping, meal preparation, and dishwashing. There is also personal care, ranging from bathing, grooming, and feeding. Lastly, Home Care includes chores such as shopping, heavy cleaning, yard cleanup, trips to a doctor, errands, and minor household repairs.

Individual, couple and family counseling is available. This program provides school-based services as well. The non-profit agency can help clients increase their understanding of child development, improve their parenting skills, and help people of all ages develop better self-esteem. Other benefits from the Saint Vincent Ministry may be stronger communication skills and people will generally enhance their overall quality of life.

St. Vincent DePaul Society provides various forms of assistance to families or individuals in need in Polk County. Examples of the services may include help with rent and utilities, and this form of help is for families and individuals during time of crisis or financial hardship. The Saint Vincent church may also have referrals to other agencies or charities in the region for their services are also available.  They can also provide information on county, state and federal resources.




To determine eligibility for assistance – An formal intake process will be completed for anyone applying for aid  For those seeking any form of financial assistance, a team of volunteers will perform a home visit to determine the required needs of the family, or individual requesting help.

To contact the St. Vincent de Paul Society of greater Lakeland, Florida call (863) 644-7469.

To contact the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Haines City call (863) 419-4819, and Winter Haven call (863) 293-6133.


By Jon McNamara











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