St. Vincent de Paul in Cincinnati
The core of our Society’s work is done by more than 1,000 members in 56 St. Vincent de Paul Conferences across Hamilton County. A conference is a small group of volunteers, typically associated with a parish or school, who visit those in need to assess their situations and help however possible. The home visit is a trademark of our Society. It was initiated by our founder, Frederic Ozanam, as he assisted the poor in Paris. Frederic believed that "the work of the Society should not be conducted in a comfortable meeting room but rather in the cheerless attic tenement, or in the sick room, the jail, the hospital, the old age home or any place where love is needed."
Conferences support their neighbors in need with a wide range of offerings. They may provide rental assistance, help with utility bills, medicine, food, clothing and furniture. Some of the conferences even have their own food pantry. Conferences will typically provide special food baskets for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Often, parishes will join with the St Vincent de Paul Conference to buy gifts for families at Christmas. But more important than the physical aid given, the conferences provide friendship and spiritual support to the people they help.