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St. Vincent de Paul assistance programs in San Diego County.

St. Vincent de Paul administers a number of social services as well as assistance programs for San Diego County families. Many of their resources focus on preventing and addressing homelessness, resolving medical needs, and assisting with self-sufficiency such as helping people increase their income or find a job.

The San Diego SVDP has limited resources, but they help people of all ages, races, and ethnicities. There is assistance for immigrants, the elderly, unemployed, and others, ranging from rent to utilities, food, or moving costs. Vincentians often perform home visits to this end.

Financial help from Society of San Diego Saint Vincent

One of the keys services they provide is Homeless Prevention. Highly trained staff work with people who are behind on their rent or utilities, facing eviction, or who are currently homeless. They will conduct interviews and provide housing assessments, give information on emergency assistance programs and interventions to prevent homelessness.

SVDP in San Diego County also offer case management through the rapid re-housing team and short term shelter. Housing services are usually in high demand, so there may be a waiting list. Members of the staff will compile and maintain any waiting lists that are required to enter the transitional housing programs, which are often called the Village.

Housing resources are also often offered by St. Vincent de Paul in partnership with other non-profits. Examples of these partnerships include Interfaith Community Services as well as Veteran's Village of San Diego. One program can provide Veterans with homeless prevention services, and resources can permanently house 100 veteran families each year. The services specific to military members and veterans are offered to the community using the Veteran Homelessness Prevention Demonstration grant.

Other legal aid, eviction prevention, and resources are offered with San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency. This may be where grants or loans for bills or housing costs, like rent, may come into play. There is also free Legal Aid, the community action agency, Episcopal Community Services, Travelers Aid, and Veterans Administration.





Meals and food are provided by the San Diego St. Vincent de Paul. Two kitchens operate 365 days a year. There is also a free food pantry. Free meals are served to the needy, including breakfast, lunch and dinner. A hot meal is also served daily to non-resident neighbors.

While it may be hard to believe, in total hundreds of thousands of meals are prepared annually for neighbors and residents in need of help. This is equivalent to a few thousand meals per day. All food served and prepared is nutritious, cost-effective, and well-balanced.

SVDP food pantries can also be used for free groceries. These give canned items, maybe fresh fruit or vegetables, dairy, meat, and other goods. Staff at the pantry also help families get long term support, even such as CalFresh public assistance in California.

Case Managers that are part of St. Vincent de Paul in San Diego will also utilize their expertise and support clients in developing and achieving individualized housing and income goals.

These specialists will work with individuals to empower clients to obtain a meaningful and productive life. Case managers will work with qualified low income clients to develop, monitor and support individualized case plans that focus on addressing the root causes that caused each client’s homelessness.

Examples of some of the services and assistance programs available through Case Management services include budgeting and monitoring of expenses. There is also development and monitoring of case plan goals and objectives, referrals and advocacy for internal and external social services, support for educational, vocational, job finding programs, and ongoing follow-up services.





San Diego SVDP may also partner with non-profits in the region on the self-sufficiency. They can hep refer clients to free credit counseling agencies. Spanish speakers, the underbanked and immigrants can learn about bank accounts too. Or there is debt management plans, credit card hardship, and small business start up workshops. Even find resources such as pre-paid debit or credit cards for underbanked.

Healthcare in San Diego County

Health care needs can be met by the Federally Qualified Health Center that is operated by St. Vincent de Paul. The clinic provides prevention screenings, primary care, dental care, psychiatry, health education, and many other specialty services for qualified San Diego residents. There is also medical services for migrants or immigrants. Free or low cost medical and dental care is offered to thousands of people per year.

The center uses the services of a number of physicians, nurses and health educators in order to help patients control chronic conditions. There is assistance for people with hypertension, diabetes and other conditions which can often lead to acute crises. The medical services will help people save lives, prevent even more emergency room visits, and improve the overall quality of life.

Many of the people served by the Federally Qualified Health Center will be patients that have mental health and severe or complex medical conditions. Some of these clients may have even been homeless for years.

With the treatment services offered by the clinic, when combined with case management, people can be stabilized. Staff from St. Vincent de Paul can help people obtain employment and permanent housing if and/when they leave the community clinic..

The clinic has also served as the medical home for people in the Serial Inebriate Program. This is for individuals with severe alcohol dependence. Another service known as Project 25 is a self-sufficient and medical program for homeless people with extremely high use of emergency rooms and hospitals.

Dental care can also be offered. The restorative dentistry program also transforms lives by providing dentures and other dental care for those who have had severe tooth decay.

Medical and psychiatric needs of clients can also be addressed from partnerships with hospitals and organizations such as the University of California, San Diego and the Combined Family Medicine and Psychiatry Residency Program. Many volunteers from the community also work with St. Vincent and participate in this clinic program. They will donate their time and skills to provide health and medical care for neighbors in need. Volunteers and clients alike are enriched by the experience of the center.

A mobile medical clinic is also offered. This will serve homeless people who live on the street. The mobile center will operate from a variety of sites throughout downtown San Diego area, including the annual winter shelter tent.





This mobile center can help reduce barriers to accessing healthcare and create an additional point of entry for other St. Vincent de Paul Village services by building trust with those who need these services. The Mobile Clinic addresses the severe illnesses and/or immediate medical needs that keep people from seeking medical treatment or mental health on their own.

Applying to Society of Saint Vincent in San Diego County

The charity provides support across the country. The agency is located at 1501 Imperial Avenue  San Diego, California 92101. Call (619) 233-8500

By Jon McNamara

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