Home > How We Serve

“Charity is infinitely inventive.” – St. Vincent de Paul

In the Diocese of Austin, we offer a wide array of programs to serve families in need. If you need any assistance, please contact your nearest Society Conference.

Basic Needs

This is by far the largest program offered by the Society. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul offers basic needs assistance through its local parish groups, called conferences, in the Diocese of Austin. There are 41 SVdP conferences in the diocese, and they offer assistance according to geographic location. Each conference offers basic needs assistance for individuals and families, but the types of assistance available vary from one conference to another. Examples include rent, utility assistance, food, and transportation.

Home Visits

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul volunteers visit the homes of those who request help. This tradition was begun by our founder, Frederic Ozanam. He believed in the importance of the personal involvement of our members with the person in need. Vincentian home visitors visit in pairs, based on the fact that the Conference is a community, not a collection of individuals who “do their own thing”; we recognize that two heads are better than one. Rather than drop a food box on their doorstep and move on to the next need, we visit, with intensity, depth, real-life advice, encouragement, a prayer, and when we have enough funds, critical resources.

Voice of the Poor

The Society’s Voice of the Poor ministry invites us to ponder long-term solutions and welcomes our emphasis on both charity and justice. We aspire to create sustainable social justice improvements. Voice of the Poor ministry creates a vehicle through which we, as Vincentians, can come together to share stories and identify common problems that highlight the need for Vincentian advocacy. The Diocesan Council hopes to educate Vincentians on pertinent policy issues and effective advocacy methods, foster collaboration among local conferences, and spearhead advocacy efforts that fight the unjust social policies that burden our communities’ poor.