St. Vincent's Episcopal House assistance programs.

A wide variety of programs are administered by St. Vincent's Episcopal House, some of them in partnership with other non-profit community service agencies. The team offers referrals to rent or energy bill programs, operate a clinic with the WelCare Initiative, and helps with educational needs from Hope Academy.

For clients that need emergency financial assistance, there are referrals to local agencies to contact for assistance. The staff from the Episcopal House will answer questions, help with applications and in general support families as they navigate the various Galveston County social services.

Food assistance is available. One of the key services is their Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry, which distributes non-perishable groceries, including dry goods, canned items, coffee, and nutritionally balanced snack packs. The resource is for families or individuals who are in need of immediate assistance with obtaining some form of affordable/healthy food for themselves and their families. There may be Canned meat and fish, Bottled water, individual serving items, Fruit cups, Breakfast and snack bars, crackers as well as peanut butter.

This relies on donations, so St. Vincent's House is always in search of Hope Angels. These people help by making anonymous monetary contributions or provide surplus groceries to assist clients whose needs are so dire that they are out of other options.

In addition to the donors referenced above, food pantry services are available from St. Vincent's Episcopal House on a first-come, first served basis and no appointment is necessary. The service run in partnership with Loaves and Fishes depends on food drives held by churches and service organizations, donations from individuals, and the local food bank of Eastern Texas.

During the holidays, they also offer baskets of food at Thanksgiving as well as Christmas to enable needy families to prepare home-cooked meals. There is also a meal served, which is a fully prepared Thanksgiving community feast for those who don’t have a place to go. The elderly and disabled can apply for home-delivered holiday dinners, and these are for those who can’t make it to the feast.





Medical and dental clinic services

The St. Vincent's House Free Clinic serves Galveston County area residents who have a low income and that lack medical coverage. Or maybe they do not have the money to pay for medical care. At this clinic, the charity will partner with the UTMB - University of Texas Medical Branch to provide free, high-quality primary care to women, men, immigrants and children who might otherwise go without assistance.

The clinic is supervised by university faculty members who are practicing nurses, doctors, health professionals, hygienists and students from UTMB. The are many people from these Medical and Allied Health Schools that generously volunteer their time to staff the clinic. Additional support is given by a full-time patient coordinator that acts as administrator.

St. Vincent's Episcopal House major focus is on early detection, prevention and management of chronic illnesses. These include, but are not limited too, hypertension, high cholesterol, dental needs, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and other STDs. These screenings are also available at various sites throughout the Galveston Texas community through the Street Screenings Mobile Wellness Program, a part of the WelCare Initiative.

Uninsured families may get other health care needs met too. This may be Vision Screening, Routine Physicals, School or Women's Wellness Exams, Prescription Assistance, Diabetes Care and Counseling as well as Mammograms.

A mobile clinic is available too. The WelCare Initiative is a tool used to take preventative healthcare and outreach to the front door of the undeserved and uninsured. Other clients are living in poverty. The programs offers Street Screenings, a mobile wellness program conducting free testing for blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar at various sites.

St. Vincent's Episcopal House educational programs

One resource is Hope Academy, which is a dual-certification program for young people working to earn High School Diplomas or GED certificates. Staff and teachers work with the client in an effort to turn their lives around, gain new skills and become contributing members of the community. Funding for Hope Academy is provided by Baxter Trust, Bloomberg Charitable Trust, Del Papa Distributing, the state of Texas, and a host of private donors and contributors.





The Academy provides educational activities combined with mentoring by officers from the Galveston County Police and Sheriff's Department. The goal is to help students and ensure they are given every opportunity to succeed. For many clients, it is a last chance to help them turn their lives around and become productive members of society.

The Transportation Program from St. Vincent's Episcopal House serves low-income adults. There is also assistance for senior citizens, the disabled, medical patients, and children in the Galveston area. The church works by providing door-to-door rides to recreational activities, doctors as well as business-related appointments, educational programs, and cultural programming. Food is also provided too as the program partners with the Meals on Wheels agency to deliver hot meals directly to the homes of elderly and disabled residents.

The Preschool service provides affordable, quality day care and early childhood education to two to five-year-old children from very low to moderate-income families in Galveston County. Subsidized fees are due to St. Vincent's Episcopal House, and the amount is determined on a sliding scale based on household income. The program emphasizes cultural enrichment, literacy, healthy lifestyles, and self-esteem, in a safe and nurturing environment.

The preschool offers even more to help the overall development. There may be Science, Music and multi-media projects, Computer Training, Spanish, and environmental classes.

For more information on assistance, or referrals, St. Vincent's Episcopal House is located at 2817 Alfreda Houston Place, Galveston, Texas 77550. Call 409-763-8521.



By Jon McNamara

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