Keep the Society of St. Vincent de Paul for the Alleviation of Poverty (Edmonton Central Council) on the road

The Cause

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul for the Alleviation of Poverty (Edmonton Particular Council) is a social justice organization that has been serving the disadvantaged in the Capital Region of Alberta since 2000. We are part of a worldwide movement that currently operates in 155 countries, where we offer short term relief and a \'hand up\' towards a better life. Our organization runs exclusively on the energy and labour of over 500 volunteers and is supported financially by donations, proceeds of periodic charity sales and support from community-minded organizations and charitable foundations.
Our mandate is to serve and minister to all those in need, regardless of creed, ethnic or social background, health, gender, or any other societal delineation; and to promote their dignity by serving with love, respect, justice and joy and without judgement. To accomplish our mandate, we:
- Provide furniture and household goods which are picked up and redistributed at no cost to those in need;
- Operate a clothing room that provides access to free clothing 5 days per week;
- Deliver food hampers giving food for those unable to access the Edmonton food bank (on an emergency basis);
- Make non-judgmental home visits to ascertain the needs of our clients; and
- Run a Distribution Centre for the storage and sorting of donated goods.
In order to carry out these activities, our organization operates and maintains 3 delivery trucks, bringing us to the idea for which we are seeking support from the Field Law Community Fund. We are requesting support to make much-needed major repairs to our trucks in order to maintain our current logistical capacity to serve our community.

Who Will it Benefit?

Our clients (i.e., the underprivileged in Edmonton) would be the primary beneficiaries of the support requested from the Field Law Community Fund. To put this into perspective, in the 2014 fiscal year alone the 65 268 hours logged by our volunteers directly or indirectly helped thousands of families, including 3,534 families, including 3,395 children in the Edmonton region.
The primary and direct benefit to our clients by keeping all of our trucks on the road is that we are able to be more responsive to their needs. The interval between needs being identified and met by our organization would be minimized.
A second, more indirect way that our clients would benefit is that by operating 3 vehicles we are better positioned to gather items from donors in a timely fashion. This not only keeps donated items coming in to replenish our inventory, but also benefits our society in general from diverting items from local landfills/eco-stations and re-purposing them to empower disadvantaged individuals and families in our community.
A third way that our clients would benefit, though indirectly, is by reducing financial pressure on our organization. Support from the Field Law Community Fund would prevent us from having to choose between covering non-budgeted major repairs to our truck fleet and acquiring items, such as beds or small kitchen appliances, which must sometimes be purchased to keep up with client demand.