Several times a week, we receive calls from homeless families many of who are living in their cars. These friends in need are referred to the Lewis Center which is  the County's homeless processing center. Many come back to us because the  Lewis Center has a long waiting list and cannot always provide the necessary services.

St. Vincent de Paul is a  member of the Palm Beach County Homeless and Housing Alliance.  And has joined with Catholic Charities in a program to address the homeless problem.  
Our emphasis is placed on two areas described below.

First, we are continuing and expanding our efforts at homeless prevention. We have provided limited assistance in this area for over sixty years, but we will now expand the reach to prevent more families from ending up on the street.  While we provide emergency assistance for utilities, the greatest need is rental assistance. 

It has been shown that the most effective way to combat homelessness is to prevent the family from becoming homeless.  Frequently the family’s problems are short term caused often by the unexpected loss of a job or illness.  In these situations, short term assistance for one or two months will give the family the opportunity to regain stability.  The Case Manager will provide counseling and referrals to assist the family.

Second, we have a Rapid Rehousing Program for those who are already homeless.  Our approach is to focus on moving homeless families into appropriate housing as quickly as possible by providing the type, amount and duration of housing assistance needed to stabilize the household.  A homeless family will be provided rental assistance for the first and possibly second month. 

A Case Manager will be assigned to help them with finding an appropriate and permanent home. He will also assist in finding employment opportunities if the husband or spouse is not already employed.  He will provide counseling to support the family until their employment and finances are stabilized and they obtain the resources necessary to avoid future crises.