Recently, the Pittsburgh Catholic published an article featuring stories about local Vincentians and the work that they do in their communities through the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. The article, written by Bob De Witt, also highlighted the need for assistance programs like those offered through our Conferences (i.e. food, clothing, furniture, housing, and transportation).
“Last year the Catholic lay association assisted 104,924 individuals in southwestern Pennsylvania…Supported by parishioners and other generous donors, they help with rent, utility bills, clothing, furniture and other items. More than 38,000 people received food assistance in 2017. Thrift stores sell donated goods at a low price, helping to raise money.
“Despite a low unemployment rate, the ranks of the working poor are growing” wrote De Witt. “More than 40 percent of Pennsylvania households can’t afford basic necessities, according to a recent United Way study. Between 2005 and 2016, the annual cost of utilities for an average home jumped 43 percent, as medical costs also continue to rise. Meanwhile, median income in the U.S. increased less than 3 percent over a decade.”