Voice of the Poor
In the spirit of Christian love and justice, the Voice of the Poor Committee upholds Catholic values by researching, validating, documenting, advocating, and promulgating issues related to the condition of the poor and disenfranchised for the purpose of helping Vincentians to live their faith by acting knowledgeably and credibly as a unified body speaking with one voice for the purpose of building up the Kingdom of God.
Voice of the Poor (Falling on Deaf Ears)
I was hungry, and you formed a discussion group to discuss my hunger.
I was imprisoned, and you quietly crept off to your chapel to pray for my release.
I was naked, and in your mind you debated the morality of my appearance.
I was sick, and you knelt and thanked God for your health.
I was homeless, and you preached to me of the spiritual shelter of the love of God.
I was lonely, and you left me alone to pray for me.
You seem so holy, so close to God
But I am still very hungry—very lonely—very cold.
Voice of the Poor (Falling On Ears that Hear the Cries of the Poor)
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul Archdiocesan Council of South Florida helps people.
Our goal is to help people help themselves. We help them through researching and identifying the systemic issues that provide barriers to their recovery and ability to be self sufficient. We help them through educating them on how to empower and advocate for themselves, their families and their communities.
Never give in charity what is owed in justice
As Vincentians we must speak for those who cannot do so themselves, shaping public policy so the very weakest in our society may be protected. May the words of the poor and underprivileged and the homeless find voice on our lips.
Blessed Frederic says:
“The whole order of society is based on justice and charity. The Society is concerned not only with the alleviation of poverty but with the eradication of its causes.”
Help us help others… Click on the button below and find out how you can help!
Our Focus On Voice of the Poor
The Voice of the Poor Community GoodWorks initiative is in memory of Vincent “Vince” Murphy, who was the Archdiocese of Miami and SE Region Council President from 1996 to 2008. His mission and vision for the Society in South Florida was to be a voice for the poor… to revitalize our distressed communities by improving the living conditions of the poor, needy and underprivileged people.
In his memory, we continue our work in South Florida with a special focus on children, the elderly, people with special needs, and low-income families; as well as to further and strengthen the education of college/university and K-12 students through hands-on mentoring, service learning and civic engagement.
Our 2017 Voice of the Poor Housing Stabilization Program’s goal is to prevent homelessness and improve the living conditions of low income families, including people with special needs and the elderly.
We make visits to their homes to determine the problem areas and adequacy of their homes to provide decent living and transportation accommodations to our clients, as well as work with other county and government organizations to make living more stable, including people with special needs and seniors.
Our daily Client Assistance Program provides services to families in distress, people with special needs, and the elderly—all those who are experiencing hunger, financial emergency, and those who cannot help themselves out of their distresses and downward spirals. Our Voice of the Poor Mentoring program is intended to help our members and other SVDP Councils gain real world mentoring skills through hands-on community good works and training experience.
It is through these programs that we keep the legacy and memory of Vince Murphy alive for generations to come.
Voice of the Poor Toolkit
This Toolkit contains the advocacy arm of the Society with members representing every section and demographic of the nation. The Toolkit provides a Circle of Protection by identifying those issues that are critical to those living in poverty and need, and help bring attention to them via Position papers. Communities and elected representatives should help develop strategies/tactics that will provide the most effective and efficient means to reduce or eliminate poverty. The attached link identifies those elements in the VOP Toolkit for building a Circle of Protection around those that we serve.Read More
The SVDP South Florida Council Community Goodworks™ program has a special focus on needy children and the elderly people — our special clients in the War on Hunger. The are 900,000 ‘food insecure’ people in South Florida—people who literally do not know where their next nutritious meal is coming from; and 300,000 of them are children.
The Food Insecurity measures are meant to capture whether or not households have consistent access to nutritious foods. It is measured by a battery of questions ranging from whether household members were worried about running out of money for food, to how often the adults or children in the family go hungry or go without eating at all. Depending on the number of affirmative responses, a household is categorized as being food secure, food insecure or having “very low food security.”
In the four years preceding the Great Recession of 2008, about 11.3 percent of households were classified as food insecure. But from 2008-2012, this rate remained above 14.5 percent, more than a 30 percent rise in the level of food insecurity. For households with children under 18, close to 21 percent are now classified as food insecure. It is also important to keep in mind what food insecurity means to the family that encounters—children will miss meals, perhaps several in a row, and parents will not eat in order to feed their children. It means there are Americans in our South Florida community going hungry.
Research from various fields combines to paint a bleak picture of the long-run effects of inadequate access to food. Work on child development indicates that adequate nutrition plays an important role in brain development, and thus long-term implications for outcomes as adults. Looking beyond the dreadful unemployment rate outcomes of the Great Recession paints an even bleaker picture of this period in U.S. history.
The Great Recession increased food insecurity, which we know can have long-range impacts for health and economic well-being. The very good news is that we already have a program that has been shown to work at combating food insecurity and the consequences of inadequate nutrition. These facts are worth contemplating as Congress resumes the fight about whether and how to fund it.
Our Walk for the Poor is a key part of the War on Hunger. It began as a national program with the purpose of providing local Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP) Conferences and Councils the additional funds to help support their special works programs.
Today, that philosophy continues, with Conferences and Councils using the funds from these events to help local people living in poverty. The Voice of the Poor aids the work of SVdP Conferences and Councils, who across the USA provided 11.5 million service hours to help almost 15 million people yearly.
Thanks to everyone who supports our Voice of the Poor War on Hunger and our Annual Walk for the Poor, including every walk coordinator, walker, and donor. To help make a difference for those living in poverty, please register today to participate in our South Florida 2018 Walk for the Poor.
The Capwiz Edge
Capwiz is an online advocacy tool that allows you to easily communicate your concerns directly and instantly to elected officials in Washington.
Three Easy Steps:
- Go to the SVdP National website
- Along the top bar click on “Voice of the Poor”, then click on the big red “Capwiz”
- Type your paragraph there