Society of St. Vincent de Paul

The Good Shepherd Conference of the St. Vincent de Paul Society is the local parish arm of the international Society of St. Vincent de Paul charitable organization founded in 1833. Our mission is to provide aid to those suffering from dire need and catastrophic circumstances and prevent them from becoming homeless.

What areas do we serve?

As the Society’s parish arm, we focus our aid locally on applicants from the Good Shepherd parish area and refer other applicants to conferences within or near their own parish.

What type of aid do we provide?

The Society provides one-time assistance to give those in need a ‘shot in the arm’ to regain solid footing. This assistance can take the form of rental, utility, food, and transportation assistance. Any funds provided are made directly payable to service providers (such as utility companies, landlords, etc.) rather than to the applicant. We do not discriminate on the basis of creed, national origin, immigration status, race, ethnicity, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, or marital status. Our only criteria for determining assistance are need and the effectiveness of our aid in helping the applicant regain solid footing.

How does our assistance program work?

Applicants call the Parish Center and request assistance. One of our board members contacts the applicant within 24 hours. To comfort applicants, grant them moral support, and determine how best to aid them, two of our members visit each applicant in person at their home (or elsewhere if they do not have a home) before reporting back to the board of directors, which decides whether to provide assistance, how much, and in what form.

How many applicants do we help each year?

Although numbers vary from year to year, we have helped over 25 applicants during the past year.

How else do we help?

Summer Camp: Each year, we send 15 to 20 less privileged children (equally divided between boys and girls) from our sister parish of St. Thomas the Apostle to the St. Vincent de Paul ‘Circle V Ranch’ summer camp near Santa Barbara for approximately one week, including transportation. This is one of our most successful programs, particularly since these children would not otherwise have the opportunity to enjoy summer camp in such a beautiful natural setting.

Bundle Sundays: We organize three to four ‘Bundle Sundays’ each year. A St. Vincent de Paul truck from picks up donated items from the Good Shepherd parking lot and delivers them to the L.A. Society’s thrift store downtown, where they are sorted and sold to raise money for various charity programs. Receipts are provided for tax purposes. If you would like to schedule a St. Vincent de Paul truck to pick up donated items, please call (323) 224-6282 or (800) 974-3571 (please call one week to 10 days in advance).

Community Issues: To better understand the needs of our community and to advise the City of Beverly Hills, our board members serve as liaison between the Good Shepherd and the Beverly Hills ecumenical committee on issues such as homelessness, mental health, and emergency preparedness.

What is our annual budget?

Our annual budget is approximately $20,000. All funds come from individual donations. We do not receive any money from the government or the Archdiocese. All of our board members are unpaid volunteers.

How can I donate?

Donations are tax deductible and may be placed year-round in the black/silver St. Vincent de Paul boxes on either side of the church entrance near the confessionals or mailed to the address below. If you wish to sponsor a child for summer camp (see above), the cost per child is $150. Please make checks payable to: Good Shepherd St. Vincent de Paul and send them to the parish office.

Who are our volunteers?

The current president is Toni Sergio. The conference meets at 7:00 p.m. on the first Wednesday of every month at the Parish Center.

How can I get involved?

New members are always welcome. If you are interested in joining our board, please leave a message for Toni Sergio at (310) 285-5425.

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