Hello, friends! Welcome to my year of service! This year, I am going to be working on the Marketing and Communications team St. Vincent de Paul in Louisville. My on-site manager and I got an idea to create a blog to talk about our community and to reflect on my experience as a VISTA. So, here goes?!
To start, my name is Mallory. I will be the primary voice of this blog for the next year, but don’t be surprised if you see it change hands from time to time. One of the goals of VISTA is to create sustainable programs. In keeping with this mission, when I am done serving here, I will pass the blog on to the next Marketing and Communications VISTA. You may also be hearing from my fellow VISTA volunteers, Chris and Jessie, or other members of the St. Vincent de Paul community from time to time.
About St. Vincent de Paul: SVDP, as it is often referred to, was founded as a lay Catholic organization to serve the poor. It is located in a low-income neighborhood near downtown bordering Shelby Park and Smoketown. Back in the day, the primary industry here was brick-making; the name, Smoketown, refers to the smoke that was produced by the large kilns that were used to fire the bricks. St. Vincent de Paul was established in Louisville in 1853 in response to the immense poverty in the area. Though St. Vincent de Paul Louisville functions as an autonomous organization, it is affiliated with the National Society of Vincent de Paul in St. Louis MO, which is actually a branch of an international Catholic charitable organization in Paris, France that is committed to fighting poverty.
Smoketown remains one of the poorest neighborhoods in Louisville. At St. Vincent de Paul, we provide a vast array of services to combat different issues that lead to homelessness. To name a few, there are the Open Hand Kitchen and the SVDP Food Pantry, which help prevent hunger by offering people access to fresh food.
We provide emergency shelter for men, and housing for adults and families; EVERY person that comes to St. Vincent de Paul Louisville, whether they stay in the Emergency Shelter for one night or several years in one of the long-term housing facilities, has access to one of SVDP’s professional case managers. There are drug rehabilitation programs, support for those struggling with mental illness, and of course, programs for children. We have several thrift stores around town; you will definitely be hearing more about those later. I work predominantly with the Family Success Center, which provides no-cost tutoring and enrichment programs for kids in grades K-6.
So this is my blog! I hope you follow it. I think it will be interesting, although, I am admittedly biased.