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  • Craig Loughridge

Need for Help Continues to Grow

It’s that time of year when the intensity of preparing for the holidays is starting to wind down. As we approach 2024, most celebratory plans already have been put in place, and people are just waiting for that one last hurrah to welcome in the new year.

But for some people that intensity, that hypervigilance, never seems to cease. Those people are the ones who are facing eviction from their homes, or who are wondering how they’re going to keep their homes heated or lighted. Those are the people who struggle to put any food on the table, let alone healthy food. Those are the people whom St. Vincent de Paul serves.

In our most recent fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, 2023, St. Vincent de Paul conferences around northwest Oregon served tens of thousands of struggling households. The social services office at our council headquarters processed more than 11,000 applications, and helped more than 9,200 households. Our volunteers at 47 local conferences around the region served thousands more.

While much of the assistance was for distributing food, about a third was for paying rent and utility bills, often in cases where utility service was disconnected. Most of us can’t imagine what it’s like to sit in a bitter cold home in winter with little or no hope as to when the gas or electricity might be restored. Most of us don’t know what it’s like to lack basic drinking water, or a warm shower, while trying to figure out why our disability check stopped coming.

The need for help seems to be non-stop. Day after day, and month after month, the calls and emails with pleas for assistance continue to come.

As we start the new year, we ask that you remember this, and do what you can to help our neighbors in need throughout the Portland area, and northwestern Oregon. Please consider donating your time, talent or money to St. Vincent de Paul, so we can help more people in need.

Best wishes for a joyful new year,

Craig Loughridge

Emergency Services Manager


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