The St. Vincent de Paul Society is an international, charitable, lay Catholic organization established in 1833 by a young college student, Frédéric Ozanam. Challenged to put his faith into action, Ozanam created the Society and named it after Vincent de Paul, a saint noted for his work with the poor.
The St. Vincent de Paul Society (SVDP) began in the United States in St. Louis, Missouri in 1845 and has since spread to every state in the union.
SVDP has always been a “grass roots” organization. Each participating Catholic Church has a group of volunteers who meet regularly and do the actual outreach of the Society. These small geographically located church-based groups are called conferences.
The conferences manage special works programs including coordinating emergency services, operating a prepared and perishable food recovery program, maintaining a food bank, providing emergency food, rent and utility assistance, and maintaining a support structure for information, referral, and linkage in assistance to the conference volunteers.
No work of charity is foreign to the Society. It serves persons in need regardless of race, creed, color or religion.