1. Why are St. Vincent de Paul and Goodwill entering into an alliance?
The St. Vincent de Paul Society focuses on survival, stability and support programs such as our food pantry, clothing certificates, financial assistance, Bridges out of Poverty, and other programs. Goodwill focuses on self-sufficiency programs aimed to help create job readiness. By aligning, we are able to refer clients back and forth to better meet their needs, and create a continuum of care for those living in poverty in our community. SVDP has always considered Goodwill an ally, not a competitor. We are excited about strengthening our ties to make a better difference in our community.
Our two main concerns while discussing the possibility of closure of the stores were our employees and our material giveaway program. A strategic alliance with Goodwill solves both issues. They will help us facilitate the material giveaway program by redeeming vouchers we distribute to our clients at their stores, and they pledge to hire all our displaced employees.
2. Why are the St. Vincent de Paul thrift stores closing?
The mission of the Thrift Stores is to support the material giveaway program and provide financial support to other SVDP programs. Initially, we were very successful in doing both. However, over the past 10 years a large increase in lower-cost retailers entering the retail space in our community has provided the customers who shop regularly at our stores to find new goods at similar prices elsewhere. With the advent of online retail sites such as EBay, Craigslist and other online Garage Sale sites, many donations we would have normally received were sold on the secondary market.
3. What will happen to the people employed at the SVDP Thrift Stores?
As part of the strategic alliance with Goodwill, all SVDP employees displaced by the closing of the stores will be offered an equivalent position by Goodwill Industries. It is up to the individual employee to decide if they wish to take advantage of this job transition.
4. When will the SVDP Stores close?
The last day for retail sales will be December 23, 2017. Special sales of fixtures and equipment will take place on a date to be announced.
5. Which locations will close?
The thrift stores at 1827 N. Bendix Drive and 2302 South Bend Avenue, both in South Bend, will close. Home Pickup of donations will also be discontinued. The SVDP Program Center at 520 Crescent Avenue, South Bend will remain in operation.
6. Will SVDP still offer clothing & miscellaneous vouchers to those in need?
Yes. The process to request vouchers will be exactly the same, however, clients will redeem the vouchers at any Goodwill Store in St. Joseph or Elkhart County.
7. Will SVDP still offer the furniture giveaway program?
Yes, however, furniture vouchers will be restricted for certain emergency situations. The monthly furniture distribution will cease effective January 1, 2018.
8. I still have things I want to donate. Where should I donate now?
We ask that you donate material goods (clothing, furniture, etc.) to your local Goodwill store. Donations of food may be dropped off at the SVDP Center, 520 Crescent Avenue, South Bend, IN from 10am – 2pm, Monday – Friday.
9. Will SVDP still offer food pantry services?
Yes. The Pantry will continue to be open Tuesday – Thursday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
10. Will SVDP still offer delivery of food to families in need?
Yes. Home Visits for food delivery will still be available in many areas of St. Joseph County. To request a food delivery, call our offices between 10 a.m. – 2 p.m, Monday – Friday at 574-234-6000.
11. Will SVDP still provide financial assistance for rent and utilities?
Yes, with your continued support. The financial assistance program will continue as operated, with signups on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month.
12. Will the Christmas Program happen in 2018?
Absolutely! Dates for Christmas signups will be announced in the Summer of 2018.
13. How can I help?
We always need help in the form of volunteers and donations. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.