Portage County St. Vincent de Paul assistance programs.

The Society of Saint Vincent De Paul has a center in Stevens Point that supports families in Portage County. The charity sells gently used clothing and household goods as well as passes out free groceries from the pantry. Other services in Portage County include referrals to financial and and employment programs from the Opportunity Development Center.

The center is open most days of the week, from Monday to Friday. The church based organization may be able to direct clients, after a home visit, to places for financial help, whether for housing or energy bills. However direct aid is rarely offered.

Portage County St. Vincent de Paul has work clothes at the store. One program, Career Dress, helps job-seeking women and men feel confident as they interview for jobs. Low income applicants may be given free interview clothing, shoes, pants, coats, undergarments, outerwear, and handbags. Once a person is employed, Career Dress supplies at least two additional outfits for work from the clothing closet.

This job clothing service is somewhat unique in that it is run solely by volunteers in Stevens Point. They not only listen to the client's concerns, but of course they work hard to make sure that the person looks great for a job or interview. After all, proper work attire can help people build the self-esteem necessary for success in the workplace.

Job Placement, Family Literacy and Adult Education – St. Vincent de Pau of Portage County runs this program for working poor, disadvantaged families, immigrants, and non-English speakers. It targets both the educational needs of the parent and their children (birth to age 8 years) as well as the unemployed in Stevens Point. Referrals are needed from Midstate Independent Living Consultants, Opportunity Development Center, or the W-2 office. Family Literacy has five main categories, including adult education, early childhood education, parenting education, job training, parents and children together activities.

The Adult Education component of this is an opportunity for a struggling parent to participate in an English as a Second Language course several days per month while their children receive Early Childhood Development instruction which targets ages birth to 4 years. In addition, there are parenting classes from Portage County which are available every week.





This service has educational speakers come in to discuss a variety of subjects that will help low-income parents in the day to day tasks of raising their children. It also covers the curriculum from the federally funded Head Start Program in Stevens Point.

For at-risk, vulnerable families in Portage County, the Food Pantry Program can provide them with emergency groceries. Pantries are run by volunteers throughout various communities in the greater Portage County region, and offer any participating client free food.

There is a static location and there is also a mobile food pantry that uses a converted beverage truck to transport fresh produce or fruits, dairy products, dairy and other foods directly to distribution sites that provide disadvantaged clients with assistance. Volunteers from St. Vincent de Paul place the food on tables around the truck after it arrives and needy clients may select any items that they need.

St. Vincent de Paul also serves as the coordinating and oversight entity between the Feeding America Food Bank of the Wisconsin. They also have referrals to pantries and soup kitchens that feed the hungry.

Residents can use the Saint Vincent de Paul thrift store in Portage County to shop for gently used goods. It may sell everything from clothing to kitchen appliances, beds, utensils and more. Maybe one of the main reasons to use the store is that the non-profit will use the money raised to pay for the financial aid programs that they run. This means that shoppers not only can pick up items at a bargain, but also give back to the community. Find some or all of the following at the store.

  • Clothes for winter or school.
  • Gently used furniture, coaches, and more.
  • Appliances, such as washers, dryers, microwaves, and other electronics.
  • Seasonal goods, such as Christmas toys, winter hats, presents for children, and other supplies.




An Assistance Hotline is run by Portage County St. Vincent de Paul partners such as the United Way. It can serve as the initial point of contact with the organization. This toll-free service is the hub for referrals to social services and financial aid. The organization will offer the homeless, unemployed, and anyone who need help with information on resources for shelter, rental help, housing, food, employment, TANF welfare, and other basic needs.

The main address of the center is at 2124 Rice St, Stevens Point WI 54482. The phone number is 715-344-7395.


By Jon McNamara

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