Our Catholic faith calls us to find Christ by reaching out generously to those in need. SVDP has given me the ability to do just that. We meet people where they are, some hungry, some homeless, some fighting drug and alcohol addiction. We offer them care and compassion, hoping to communicate that they are not walking alone, seeking to guide them on the path to sustained independence. Our expertise is in case management, offering not only resources but also encouragement to the clients. Hopefully, as we seek to see Christ in them, they will also see Christ in us.
I teach theology at a Catholic high school. Every semester, I bring all of my classes to SVDP for an experience that alters the worldview of almost every student who attends. SVDP staff allow my students to see two different shelters and the soup kitchen. We also get to visit with a resident in one of the long-term shelters. When we hear the residents' story, it shatters stereotypes that many of my students hold about people who are poor or homeless. This hour-long visit is one of the most powerful learning experiences in my course. I'm very grateful for SVDP's efforts to educate our young people about the needs of marginalized people in our community.
I was introduced to St. Vincent de Paul by my 9 year old daughter. She had visited with a friend and donated blankets for the needy. She was so disturbed that there weren't enough blankets for everyone that she came home and organized a blanket drive at our church. We returned in a few months with an abundance of blankets that were distributed. We have since been back with a donation of several large boxes of Kool Aid and Gideon Bibles that were distributed by a Gideon from our church. We have worked closely with Linda Romine and Donna Young to organize our visits and have been made to feel very welcome. St. Vincent de Paul is a great organization doing great work for those in need. I am thankful to be involved and look forward to many more visits.
SVDP Louisville continues to innovate and evaluate new tactics that can materially move their diverse and challenging client groups to safe and productive life states. I appreciate the breadth and discipline of the programs that span homeless veterans, women with addiction and disabled families and individuals. Their summer program for the children residents has been a huge success. And the Open Hand Kitchen provides a safe and comfortable place with a decent meal for an increasing number of individuals and families.