St. Vincent de Paul proactively combats homelessness with home visit program

Posted at 5:12 PM, Oct 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-28 20:25:06-04

SOUTHWEST IDAHO — All you have to do is call their help line and they'll be there.

St. Vincent de Paul of Southwest Idaho (SCDPSWI) sends two representatives to the homes of Treasure Valley community members who are struggling to pay their bills, rent, or mortgage-- and they oftentimes will write them a check on the spot.

"We handle between 40 and 60 calls a day, throughout the year, so it's a huge program-- it's a huge need. We helped over 21,000 people in the Treasure Valley last year through that program," said Ralph May, Executive Director with SVDPSWI.

But it's not just bills they help pay; they sometimes also provide bicycles for transportation, furniture, and more. May says they are able to operate on both donations and profits from their several thrift stores in the valley.

One Boisean, Charlene Wittner, said she struggled with paying a premium for her medical insurance and that SVDPSWI wrote her a check for that bill, helping her in a vulnerable time. Now she works for them in a thrift store.

"When you first realized that yes, they were going to help you pay that, what was your reaction?" asked Madeline White, 6 On Your Side reporter.

"I cried. It made me very emotional that they were willing to help like that," said Wittner.

SVDP of Southwest Idaho also has a reentry program for ex-offenders recently released from prison. Through this program, they provide transportation and vouchers for food, clothing, and linens and even help them to get jobs.

Coming up in our 5, 6, and 10 p.m. shows Monday, we'll have Wittner's full story and how SVDPSWI can help you-- and use your help-- to get ahead of the homelessness issue in the Treasure Valley.

In the meantime, click here to learn more. The numbers to their help lines are by area:
Ada County and Mountain Home:
(208) 331-2208

Caldwell Area:
(208) 919-2940 (English)
(208) 571-2160 (Spanish)

Nampa Area:
(208) 466-3400