Mission and History

Founded in 1833, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, a non-profit organization, serves local individuals in need on a person-to-person level.

“A network of friends inspired by gospel values, growing in holiness and building a more just world through personal relationships with and service to people in need.”

Founded in 1833 by Frederic Ozanam, a French college student, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul serves local individuals in need on a person-to-person level. The Society is operated primarily by volunteers, organized in regional Councils around the world. The Council of Pittsburgh was formed in 1852 and covers six counties in Southwestern Pennsylvania – Allegheny, Butler, Beaver, Greene, Lawrence, and Washington.

Volunteer members, called Vincentians, are grouped into Conferences. A Conference is a group of men and women who work as a team to provide concrete aid and comfort to their neighbors in need in their local community. Today, there are more than 100 Conferences within the Council of Pittsburgh with more than 1,300 volunteer members.

Currently, the Council of Pittsburgh also employs a staff of about 100 individuals dedicated to operating five thrift stores, two warehouse distribution centers, and providing support services to the local conferences.

Every year, the Council serves more than 100,000 neighbors in need through a variety of direct services including clothing, furniture, housing, utility assistance, food, medical care, and transportation. The thrift stores serve as outlets for clothing and household items to needy individuals and families referred to by local Conferences. Additionally, income earned from store sales and recycling operations undertaken by the warehouse supports our assistance programs.