The Society of St. Vincent de Paul was formed when a group of young college students committed themselves to follow Christ’s example, declaring “Let us go to the poor!”
The Home Visit remains the central work of Members and Conferences of the Society of St Vincent de Paul. On Home Visits, Vincentians do not merely “stand with” the poor; we sit with them, we listen to them, we pray with them, and we seek to help them in the best way possible.
This commonly includes things like rental assistance, or help with utility bills or food. No work of charity is foreign to the Society. It includes any form of help that alleviates suffering or deprivation and promotes human dignity and personal integrity in all their dimensions.
Vincentians are not social workers. We serve as neighbors, seeking to understand the troubles of those we serve as we would a brother or sister, and to form relationships based on trust and friendship, and to walk with our neighbors in their time of trouble.
Serving in Hope, Module VII
The Spirituality of the Home Visit
More Home Visit Info and Documents
From its earliest days, the Society of St Vincent de Paul built upon the personal relationships built with their neighbors on home visits by establishing many other works – a school for soldiers in Lyon; an apprenticeship program for young men in Paris; prison visitation; warehouses of supplies for the poor. Today, the Society continues to serve creatively, responding to the changing needs of the poor, because “no work of charity is foreign to the Society.”
Voice of the Poor