Voice of the Poor: Mission Statement
The Fort Wayne Council Voice of the Poor Committee is the social justice advocacy and education arm of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Guided by Catholic Social Teaching, we collaborate with other organizations to address root causes of the social, political, and economic conditions of the people we serve.
Criteria for Choosing Issues
The Fort Wayne Council Voice of the Poor will advocate to eliminate systemic causes that contribute to our client’s needs using the following criteria:
- Is it close to the Heart of Vincentians?
- Is there something positive we can do about it?
- Does the issue affect many/most clients?
- Is there a probability of success?
Q. How does the Voice of the Poor fit in with the mission of the Society?
A. As Catholics and members of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, we see the face of Jesus in those we visit. We have a responsibility to be a “Voice of the Poor (VOP),” and to speak out for those who have no voice.
“I was hungry and you gave me to eat.
I was thirsty and you gave me to drink.
I was in prison and you visited me.”
7.1 The Society gives immediate help but also seeks mid-term and long-term solutions.
…In all its charitable actions there should be a search for justice; in its struggle for justice, the Society must keep in mind the demands of charity.
7.4 The practical Vincentian approach to social justice
The distinctive approach of Vincentians to issues of social justice is to see them from the perspective of those we visit who suffer from injustice.
7.5 A voice for the voiceless
The Society helps the poor and disadvantaged speak for themselves. When they cannot, the Society must speak on behalf of those who are ignored.
Q. What are the main goals of Voice of the Poor?
A. (1) Creating awareness and generating interest amongst Vincentians.
(2) Encouraging members to speak in one unified voice as an extension of our service to the individuals and families served by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
(3) Advocate at the local, state and national level with key decision makers and lawmakers to bring about systemic change ― in other words, to work for change that makes a lasting difference in the systems, institutions and people that create and sustain poverty and need.
The Society’s mission is to help people in need to not only survive whatever crisis they are facing – financial, medical or personal – but to help get them “back on their feet.” Direct aid or assistance is the heart of the work of the local conferences. Assistance is offered on a personal basis and is provided with respect and dignity.
Conferences receive requests from clients. Trained home visitors, commonly called Vincentians, conduct face-to-face meetings generally in the client’s residence to understand the clients’ circumstances first-hand and determine the appropriate assistance.
To volunteer in a Conference call 260-456-3561.