The society of St. Vincent De Paul is an organization that provides housing for the homeless, the sick, and the mentally ill. The Society was founded by Frederic Ozanam and a group of students from the Sorbonne University in 1833. The students were challenged to prove their faith through action. Their solution was to develop a simple system to help the poor in their homes, in the streets, in hospitals and mental institutions. They adopted as their patron saint St. Vincent de Paul, a 16th century priest who was known for his work with the poor. From this, the society grew to be an international organization with chapters in 130 countries and with over one million members. The Canadian chapter was founded by Dr. Joseph Painchaud in 1846 and the Ontario conference by George Manly Muir, a court circuit judge in 1851 at St. Michael’s Cathedral. On a local level, there is the Toronto Central Council. Some facts about our Toronto Central Council are:
- There are over 110 active conferences through the Toronto central Council - There are over 1,200 Vincentians who are actively working in the conferences - There are over 65,000 people being visited each year by Vincentians - There are over 250 people who have homes in residential programs operated by the Toronto Central Council - Over 1,100 girls attend the Marygrove Camp free
- 350 inmates are visited each month by Court Services.
The Society of St.Vincent De Paul also provides visits to the needy in their homes. Over 1,100 Vincentians visit homes in the Greater Toronto area. Emergency assistance is given by way of food, clothing and furniture which is giving those in need access to basic necessities. Anyone can call the Society for various types of assistance, whether it’s a material request or simply the request for a compassionate ear. Friendship, guidance and advocacy are also offered to anyone in need. As well, from the beginning the Society of St. Vincent de Paul has...
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