St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County, Inc. (SVDP) focuses on helping people in need, building affordable housing and being good stewards of community resources. Committed to social justice and developing economic opportunities for low-income people in Lane County, Oregon, SVDP's activities include thrift stores, manufacturing and recycling ventures, emergency services, housing programs, and job training. Since inception in 1952, SVDP has developed more than 800 affordable housing units.
- Economic Development creates sustainable businesses based on recycling, resulting in decreased
waste, affordable products that are improved and prepared for reuse, and the creation of jobs with
benefits. Programs include: recycling of appliances, wood, books, metal, computer, glass
(auroraglass.com), textile recycling and international recycling partnerships.
programs include transitional two-year rentals with case management through affordable rentals and
home ownership, as well as supportive housing for special populations such as homeless
- Retail Thrift Stores serve as a model of efficiency throughout the nation,
creating avenues for social justice, jobs/training and serving the needs of the community and
providing revenue for charitable outreach Emergency Services provide food boxes, prescription
medication vouchers, assistance with rent/utilities, transportation, referrals, clothing, and
shelter for homeless and at-risk adults and families.
- Vocational Services programs help
people identify and overcome multiple barriers to employment. Core services include job
assessment, evaluation, training, development, placement, and follow-up. Services may also include
instruction in skills such as budgeting, time management, and finding
- Investments by individuals, as well as institutions such as Calvert Foundation,
provide the lending capital to SVDP, Lane County.
SVDP serves low-income people throughout Lane County, Oregon, which has a population of 335,180 with approximately 8% identifying themselves as ethnic minorities. This statistic is reflected in the diversity of the clients of SVDP's various programs. Sixty percent are female heads of households. Of SVDP's total client base, 4% are African-American, 18% Latino, 2% Native American, 75% Caucasian, and 1% other. 97% of clients live in a household with a combined income at or below 80% of area median income.
SVDP primarily serves Lane County, which has a population of more than 346,560. All people in need are eligible for services. In the past 12 months, SVDP filled more than 400 medicine prescriptions, increased its affordable housing to more than 800 units, helped 1,825 households pay their utility bills, and distributed 15,800 emergency food boxes. St. Vincent de Paul and its partners completed one major housing project in 2008 and have three which will be completed in 2009, adding over 90 units of affordable housing to our community. Last year, more than 65,000 low-income, homeless, and at-risk individuals benefited from SVDPís outreach and services.
Jennifer Weston believes in having the tools necessary to accomplish the task at hand. So in 2006 when she and her two young daughters abruptly left an unhealthy situation and became homeless and in poverty, Jennifer gave herself two years to locate the necessary tools and turn the situation around.
Jenniferís case manager, Elaine Gammill, helped revive Jenniferís long-held dream of applying to the Ford Family Foundation Scholarship Program with the goals of earning a bachelorís degree in child and family studies, a masterís in social work, and a doctorate in psychology.
While her scholarship application reflected some difficulties, she believes her resilience, determination and confidence were factors considered by the selection committee.