The Society of St. Vincent de Paul began in Austin in the early 1960s, and our network of charity now serves the entire Diocese of Austin. In 2016, the Society’s volunteer members, called Vincentians, performed over 9,000 person-to-person home visits, serving 180,000 Central Texans in need. As a result of these home visits, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul provided over $5.3 million in direct assistance and in-kind services to our neighbors in the Diocese of Austin. During these home visits, Vincentians listen to the difficult and heartbreaking struggles of their neighbors. Through the generosity of the black bag collections by the parishes, the Society is able to provide financial assistance supplemented with in-kind services, referrals, and most importantly, prayer.
In addition to its person-to-person visits, the Society in Central Texas operates the Vincentian Family Center and Thrift Store, a vibrant, collaborative, multi-agency resource center providing numerous services to the families in need. The VFC houses much more than our executive offices and thrift retail. Located at 901 W. Braker Lane in North Austin, the building also offers a food pantry, prayer room, computer lab and training classroom, 2-N-1 Salad Bar and Grill offering nutritious meals at a low cost, and offices for partnering nonprofits (including Drive a Senior North Central Austin, Pollyanna Theatre Company, and The Gladney Center for Adoption).
The Vincentian Family Center and Thrift Store is the realization of a collective vision of client-centric service. We selected our new location not only to meet growing need in North Austin, but also to ensure accessibility by public transportation. Our hours and programming have been designed with careful attention to the neighborhoods and individuals we serve.
The Society also operates a St. Vincent de Paul thrift store in Bryan, Texas. Because of generous community donations, the thrift stores are able to offer used clothing and household goods at reduced prices. The Thrift Store store also offers a no-charge voucher program for eligible clients.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul exists to serve those in need while improving the spirituality of its members. Vincentian spirituality is rooted in the fact that members encounter the face of God in every individual they visit. Following the example of their founder, Frédéric Ozanam, members of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul aspire to grow in intimacy with Jesus by “embracing the world in a network of charity.”
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Central Texas is organized into 41 parish-based volunteer groups, called conferences, representing over 1,000 volunteer members with over 145,000 service hours last year, logging more than 346,000 miles. The conferences are organized into six (6) district councils which report into the Diocesan Council of Austin. The Diocesan Council of Austin is part of the South Central Region, one of eight regions reporting to the United States National Council.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul – Diocesan Council of Austin provides services to those in need and does not discriminate based on race, color, religion, or orientation. Those we serve are only homogeneous in their desperate need for assistance.