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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Congregate Meals, Food, Food Banks & Pantries, Homeless & Housing, Job Training, Temporary Housing

Mission: The mission of St. Vincent de Paul of Alameda County (SVdP) is to provide direct help to anyone in need in Alameda County.

Results: Last year, SVdP served more than 150,000 people throughout Alameda County. Our Dining Room in downtown Oakland continues to serve nearly 800 hot lunches daily to the hungry and the homeless. Continuing to build pathways out of poverty, our job-training programs has a graduation rate of over 70% and is designed to help trainees move forward in life.

Geographic areas served: Alameda County

Programs: SVdP operates the Dining Room and Community Center in downtown Oakland. The Dining Room provides up to 800 free meals per day, five days a week. The Community Center provides: two drop-in centers for men, women and children; two job-training programs (Kitchen of Champions culinary training program and Champion Workforce transitional employment program); the Help Desk; Clothing Closet; Homeless & Caring Court; medical clinics; and other referrals and basic services. To generate income for the programs, SVdP operates social enterprises: three thrift stores (East Oakland, Fremont and Livermore), the Redux Studios & Gallery in Alameda, and WasteNot electronics recycling. Not only does social enterprises generate revenue, but it provides job opportunities for our transional employment program. SVdP also has a large network for grassroots volunteers throughout Alameda County called "Vincentians." These 800 volunteers provide one-on-one support to those in need in their communities.

Community Stories

18 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

These reviews were getting little dated but all the positives still apply in the free dining room. I volunteer there one day a week. "in the back", which is an area of the dining room were we provide table service to the disabled and to families. SVDP is well organized so they use the volunteers' time effectively.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have been serving in the dining room for more than a year now since I retired; I am able to work regularly, one day a week where we serve a daily hot lunch to between 600-1000 people per day. We mostly serve single men but we also have families and disabled that come as well.

What really has impressed me is the culinary arts training program that St. Vincen's runs to train some of the disadvantaged who qualify for the ; they train under the supervision of Kim Blair and prepare and cook the daily meals; The 12 week program has a high completion rate and, most importantly, a high job placement rate.

Comments ( 1 )

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svdpdevelopment 03/03/2011

Helen, thank you for sharing your experience and for your suggestions about how we might improve. We really appreciate your feedback and your ongoing support! Thank you for all the great work you do.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My name is Katy Wright & I have been volunteering in the dining room in Oakland for almost three years now. When I first started, I always stayed behind the counter, because the "clients" kind of scared me. Then one day, I saw the person who was handing out the trays hassle some of the people about coming through the line more than once. Some altercations ensued. I was so appalled at this, that I decided to start handing out the trays. I felt it was importatnt to greet each person who came through the door with dignity & a smile. Now, I can't imagine doing anything else. I look forward to seeing our clients & have developed a rapport with many of them. This experience has been very rewarding for me on many levels. The staff at St vincent's are dedicated, professional, personable & supportive. I'm very happy to be involved with this organization & feel that we are doing something extremely valuable for the community.

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svdpdevelopment 03/03/2011

Thank you for sharing with us, Katy! Your smile and awesome personality always brightens up the dining room - we appreciate all that you do! See you soon.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am Judy Lockhart, a second-generation volunteer at the free dining room in Oakland. My parents both worked in the dining room well into their senior years.
The staff at the Oakland dining room treats every guest with respect and warm regards. This past Sunday, we served 1,023 plates over the lunch hour. Both the management and volunteer team members work in harmony every day to offer a balanced meal, a smile and a warm welcome to each person in need who comes through the dining room doors.
I feel blessed to have the opportunity to assist at the dining room and look forward to my volunteer time there.
Sincerely,
Judy Lockhart

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svdpdevelopment 03/03/2011

Judy, thank you for sharing your experience and history with us! Volunteers like yourself are the lifeblood of our organization - thank you for helping us help others. We appreciate all that you do!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started to help serving dinner to the most needed people of Saint Vincent de Paul in Alameda going to help from Saint Ambrose church in Berkeley, California. I am having some time now a days and I decided to use it being at service of others and I enrolled on the Saint Vincent of Paul. I have been helping since January of this year and my experience there is: The place is very clean and the people and team they have there, is very organized and with friendly and awesome attitude I just want to tell you that I can't stop going to help and that I have made great friends over there, at the place there are some many people in need of everything not only food but a friendly smile! there are also very professional and educated people there ready to be at service! and off course the money should be always a great help since the people that come there every day to eat is so grateful to have such a place to seat and eat something good and warm and you can see that they also have something or look for something to carry away some food for later that day!!!

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svdpdevelopment 03/03/2011

Dolores, thank you so much for sharing your experience! We are so happy to have you and appreciate all you do for us. Thanks for helping SVdP help others!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered in the St. Vincent dining room in Oakland for the last two years. You can see the fruits of your labor in action: feeding people who are down on their luck. The staff are friendly, appreciative, easygoing and supportive. The volunteers, likewise, care about what they do and enjoy being there. Working at the dining room has become an important and cherished and meaningful part of my life.

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svdpdevelopment 03/03/2011

Alfredo, thank you for your kind words and for sharing your experience with the online community! We are always looking for more awesome people like yourself to become regular SVdP volunteers and will continue to do so. Thanks for all you do!

Review from Guidestar

Ken T.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at St. Vincent de Paul of Alameda County twice this year and I enjoyed going both times. It's a really great organization that directly helps the community. I look forward to my next visit to St. Vincent's!

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svdpdevelopment 02/15/2011

Ken, thank you for volunteering with SVdP Alameda this year! We appreciate your support and hope to see you back some time soon. Thank you for the great review!

Devante A.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I went there one day to do some community service. I went in there reluctant, but I came out really happy. I am glad I got the experience of working here! It opened my eyes to see how many other people are less fortunate than I am. I definitely will come back!

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svdpdevelopment 02/15/2011

Thank you for reflecting on your experience with us, Devante! We really appreciate your help and hope to see you soon at SVdP Alameda. Thank you for sharing with the online community!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered often over the years and love St. Vincent. I would like to address concerns another review made. Volunteers ARE given a lot of training - they watch an orientation video in the morning, and then later are assigned specific tasks. Not much training is required to know how to pour drinks! I very much appreciate that St. Vincent assigns jobs the day of, as a regular volunteer I am well aware that there are many groups that can only come on an irregular basis. Also, the line to serve the community is iMO very very organized. I am wondering if this volunteer was there a day that I was not. In my past four years at St. Vincent I have never had a bad experience.

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svdpdevelopment 02/15/2011

Wow, thank you for your glowing review! We rely on regular volunteers like you to help us make the biggest, deepest impact on the folks we serve in Alameda County - thanks for all you do!

Review from Guidestar

Darrell H.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

St. Vincent de Paul is a fantastic organization that really conveys the meaning of service to its volunteers. It gives volunteers a great chance to feel like an important part in providing food to the people we serve. Everyone who I know that has been to St. Vincent de Paul has said nothing but positive things and expressed such an appreciation for serving.

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svdpdevelopment 02/15/2011

Darrell, thank you! We are grateful that you are part of the SVdP Alameda family, and appreciate all that you do (including writing this great review for us). See you soon!

Review from Guidestar