St. Vincent de Paul of Portland
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is a worldwide organization of lay catholics with the mission of giving any form of aid that alleviates suffering regardless of race, ethnicity, creed, gender, orientation, handicap or religion.
St. Vincent de Paul has been in greater Portland for over 140 years, their first major contribution to the community was sponsoring the building of St. Vincent's Hospital, in Portland in 1874. During the 144 year history, St. Vincent de Paul has founded then managed; thrift stores, a day care facility for working poor, homeless café, drug and alcohol rehabilitation center, a USO club and Seamen Center, and founded Camp Howard.
St. Vincent de Paul has always been a "grass roots" organization. Each participating Catholic Church has a group of volunteers who meet regularly and do much of the outreach of the Society. These small geographically located groups are called conferences. In a given locality, conferences are grouped together and are represented by a Council. The Portland District Council represents that combined efforts of 50 local conferences with a total of 1900 volunteers. In addition to coordinating these efforts of the conferences, the council, with paid professional staff, manages special works programs including coordinating emergency services, operating a prepared and perishable food recovery program, maintaining a food bank, operating a Mobile Kitchen for the hungry, and the emergency assistance office. The Portland Council District covers Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Multnomah, and Washington counties.
In 2012, our combined efforts allowed us to help over 385,000 people, providing $1.5 million in rent and utility assistance and feeding the hungry by giving out 1.2 million pounds of food.