What are the facilities like?

Bunk Rooms

There are 30 total beds housed in modern bunk rooms with mattresses and mattress protectors.

  • Six rooms with one bunk bed (two mattresses)
  • One room with three bunk beds
  • One room with six bunk beds

Showers & Bathrooms

There are separate gender bathrooms with three stalls each. One of the stalls is ADA-compliant. There are four individual shower stalls with locking doors. One of the showers is ADA-compliant.


Our kitchen is fully equipped with an oven, two microwaves, toaster, two standard-sized refrigerators, coffee maker, plates, mugs, glasses, silverware, pots, pans, cooking utensils and a dishwasher.

Learning Space

Our Learning Space can sit up to 60 people in rows of chairs, or up to 45 people with five people per round table. For younger groups, sitting on the floor is an option to allow for more attendees.

AV Equipment: There is a podium with a microphone, a projector connected to the ceiling, and a laptop available with a wireless presentation remote. There are speakers throughout the room that are connected to the podium microphone and the projector.

Lounging Space

Separated from the Learning Space, closest to the bunk rooms hallway, is the Lounging Space. There are three couches and seating cubes that can be moved into different formations.

We provide a cabinet full of board games, card games and social justice documentaries on DVDs.

Where should I park?

Participants should park in the Liz Carter Center (1125 Bank St) parking lot, which has two levels and is surrounded by a black fence. We save parking at the Neyer Outreach Center (1146 Bank St) for our neighbors. The front door to the Liz Carter Center is at the top of the parking lot.If you are arriving by a school bus, we encourage the bus to park on the street alongside our parking lot.

Can we participate in a Poverty Simulation?

Age minimum: The Poverty Simulation, created in-house by the Ozanam Center, is intended for participants ages 14 and older. We find that younger participants haven’t had enough life experience to fully understand the meaning and implications of the experience.

Location: We can facilitate the Poverty Simulation on-site or at your location. We have a $50 fee for taking it off-site and we require two “spaces” for the stations, 6 – 8 tables for those stations, space for debrief, and a projector connection.

Volunteers: We ask that groups provide 6 – 8 volunteers to run the stations, though no experience is necessary to volunteer. We will provide training before the start of the Poverty Simulation.

Length of time: The Poverty Simulation is about two hours total: 15 minutes introduction/training volunteers, 60 minutes simulation, 45 minutes debrief.


For specific pricing and to schedule a simulation, please email

What is a typical overnight retreat like?

Each day is focused on a Catholic Social Teaching theme.

8:00 a.m. – continental breakfast

8:30 a.m. – morning prayer/reflection

8:50 a.m. – depart for service site

9:00 a.m. – service site

12:00 p.m. – bagged lunch in park

12:30 p.m. – service site

3:00 p.m. – return to SVDP

3:30 p.m. – social justice education

5:00 p.m. – dinner

6:00 p.m. – evening prayer/reflection

7:00 p.m. – free time, optional documentary to watch

What should I bring to an overnight retreat?


Face masks may be required at some service sites.

Dress according to the weather. We ask that all clothing appropriately covers the body. Be mindful of the length of shorts. Please no provocative clothing or items that display offensive slogans or graphics. Our facility doubles as an office during the business day and you will encounter employees and people we serve throughout your stay. Comfortable shoes for walking long distances (closed-toe shoes are required for some activities).



  • Reusable Water Bottle (VERY IMPORTANT!)
  • Sheets, pillow, blanket
  • Towel and toiletries/medications
  • One shareable snack for the trip
  • Photo ID (driver’s license or school ID)



  • Journal
  • Donations



Warm weather:

  • Bug spray
  • Sunglasses or hat
  • Rain jacket


Cold weather:

  • Jacket or coat
  • Snow boots
  • Gloves, hat and scarf


A note about cell phones:

  • Cell phones may be brought (unless otherwise stated by your school/group policy), but we ask that they remain in your bag or with your chaperone and are not used throughout the day or during any of our programming.
  • We understand they serve many purposes for you. Your immersion is a chance to refresh, limit your use, and focus on participating fully in the immersion experience.

What will we be eating on the retreat?

In solidarity with the neighbors we serve, our meals are simple but filling. Meals typically include continental breakfast, bagged lunches, and a hot-cooked dinner each day. Groups are encouraged to bring their own snacks.

What is the neighborhood like?

Participants stay on-site at St. Vincent de Paul’s Liz Carter Center at 1125 Bank Street, in the West End neighborhood.

The West End neighborhood has a rich history of immigrants who have fluctuated in and out of the community since its inception in the early 1800s. The community has seen many changes over the years, from Dayton Street’s “Millionaires Row” to the construction of I-75 and the resulting displacement of thousands of residents. However, the neighborhood maintains a strong sense of community and resilience among its long-term residents still today. The West End is currently home to FC Cincinnati’s TQL Stadium and is close to Findlay Market.

We find it very important that students stay in the same neighborhood as the neighbors they serve in order to participate in the full immersion experience. The group is accompanied by two Ozanam Center staff who work in this community and have strong relationships with the different nonprofit partners we visit.

St. Vincent de Paul has a strong, long-standing relationship with the West End community and is well respected and appreciated in the neighborhood.