Holiday Giving Opportunities at SVDP

There are many opportunities to give this holiday season at St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore.  The generosity of the community during the holidays helps us to provide essential services throughout the year and truly makes a difference at this time of year.

Prepare a Meal for the Hungry:  From November 1 through December 30, individuals or groups are needed to prepare and donate dishes that can be heated and served for lunch and dinner at Sarah's Hope family shelters located in West Baltimore, and Reisterstown.  You can also stay and help serve a meal if we have openings and you'd like to do so!

Serve a Meal:  Don't want to prepare a meal?  No problem!  You can serve at one of our multiple locations including the Beans & Bread Center, or Sarah's Hope family shelters.

Help with a Youth Activity:  Individuals and groups of up to 5 volunteers are needed to assit with youth activities during the holiday season.  Volunteers will work wtih staff to provide educational opportunities, games, arts and crafts, and music for children of all ages.  Volunteers can serve one time or mulitple shifts.


Breakfast Bags:  Morning hospitality bags should contain a muffin, bagel, or a box of cereal, a pice of fruit and/or energy bar, and a juice box.

Bagged Lunches:  Bagged lunches should contain one meat and cheese sandwich, one piece of fruit, or a snack, and one room temperature drin, (i.e. a juice box).

Adopt a Head Start Classroom:  Bring the gift of cheer to 3 and 4 year old children attending Head Start by adopting a classroom.  Your group, church, business, or school can provide much needed classroom supplies.

Conduct a Drive:  Drives are a great way for us to collect vital supplies for our shelters to use throughout the year.  Your group, church, business, or school can work together to collect coats, hats, mittens, boots and toys for families.

St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore Holiday WIsh List (all items should be new and unwrapped)

Warm Clothing:  Adult socks, men's & women's long underwear, adult sweaters, sets of hats, gloves, and scarves, adult flannel shirts, children's coats (size 4T-6x)

Personal Care Items:  Deodorant, toothbrushes, travel-sized toothpaste, disposable razors, feminine hygeine products, lotion.

Baby Items:  Diapers (especially sizes 4-6), baby wipes, and infant formula.

Gift Wrapping:  Wrapping paper, and tape.

Household Items:  Twin size blankets, twin size sheets, pillows, bath towels, washcloths, backpacks, clorox wipes, small appliances, and alarm clocks.

Educational Supplies:  Crayons, markers, notebooks, pens, pencils, and folders.

Toys & Games:  Pre-school toys and puzzles, construction paper, water-based paints, coloring books, basketballs and footbals.

Gift Cards & Pre-Paid Visa Cards:  Check out the SVDP Amazon wish list to click and shop donations directly to our programs.  Search for "St. Vincent de Paul" on Amazon Wish Lists or find the link on the St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore home page (


Spotlight on Trauma Informed Care

We are all shaped by our experiences, and nothing leaves a more lasting impact than trauma.  Trauma, defined as a deeply distressing or disturbing experience, leaves a physical impression on the brain altering normal responses.  We has humans have all experienced some form of trauma in our lives such as shock, distress, pain, suffering, grief, or heartache.

Recognizing that most of our clients have experienced or are experiencing trauma, SVDP is adopting a Trauma-Informed Care model as the philosophy of care.  The foundation of Trauma-Informed Care is treating everyone with respect as individuals and families.  Once we are operating with a trauma informed filter, we may better meet clients where they are.

We are committed to training all employees and volunteers on the unique needs of those in our care.  All SVDP Homeless Services staff completed Trauma-Informed Care training this summer.  We are excited to team up with Aetna Better Health of Maryland to provide Trauma-Informed Care training as part of orientation.  The Trauma-Informed Care training will help staff recognize the effect of trauma on clients while being mindful of the trauma he or she has experienced.

They Filled My Plate and Then They Filled My Heart

Maryland is the weathiest state in the nation, when measured by per capita income, but not all Marylanders share in the prosperity.  Across the state, a staggering 1 in 10 households struggle against hunger.  When Shay first walked through our doors, she wasn't just hungry, she was empty.  Not only did she not have enough to eat, she had no one to count on.  She was only in her early 20's but Shay was already world weary.  She was starved for basic love and care.  We immediately helped Shay by giving her nutritious food through our Beans & Bread meal program.  Once Shay started coming regularly to Beans & Bread for food, we connected her to a Career Navigator, who identified many barries Shay faced to finding a good job.  Working with the Career Navigator, Shay chose to enroll in our Next Cours food service job training program, and her transformation truly began.  Through Next Course, Shay learned valuable cooking and food service skills and completed a ServSafe Manager's certification that allowed her to launch a new career upon graduation from the program.  Through our Front Door Rapid Rehousing Program, Shay was connected with permanent housing.  She has a steady home, a safe home, and most importantly she has hope.  "I can actually think about a real future now," Shay says.  "I'm not just trying to survive day by day.  I never thought this would be possible, and I'm just so grateful!"

Baltimore Equinox Event 2020

September 19, 2020


New Fundraising Event!

Saturday, September 19, 2020

7PM - 11PM 

Baltimore Musuem of Industry

Join us for this one-night celebration aiming to help people move beyond homelessness - be the light you want to see!  All proceeds will support the shelter and housing programs for St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore.  #BETHELIGHT

Tickets are available now, visit

New Early Childhood Development Center Opens at Newly Renovated Arlington Elementary School in Park Heights

21st Century Ribbon Cutting Ceremony in front of Arlington Elementary School

St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore announced on August 26th, the opening of a brand new Early Childhood Development Center at the modernized Arlington Elementary School.  The new Early Childhood Development Center was created as part of the Baltimore City Public School System renovation of Arlington Elementary School, which is scheduled to re-open in September.  On Wednesday, August 28th, 21st Century Schools hosted a Ribbon Cutting to celebrate.

The refurbished Arlington site will provided children with a healthy, safe, efficient, modern space, which will support excellence in teaching and learning with flexible, adaptable spaces, learning areas designed for interaction, collaboration, technology equipped classrooms and shared community sapces, including three teaching walls, tablets, touch screen learning and developmentally appropiate robotics.  St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore's Head Start program as 68 center-based slots in 6 classrooms at Arlington, serving 60 families.  The St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore Head Start program provides early childhood education services to prepare children for school, while also achieve financial, housing, health stability goals, benefitting the families servied and the entire community.  Stay tuned for the offical grand opening of the Early Childhood Development Center.

St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore's Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Early Childhood Development Center

One of the Head Start classrooms at the Early Childhood Development Center

Front entrance of Arlington Elementary School before the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

This year, Camp St. Vincent has been all about learning.  This summer we welcomed over 200 children, ages 5-14 who are experiencing homelessness in Baltimore City and Baltimore County.  Camp St. Vincent creates and environment where our campers learn through fun.  From field trips to the Maryland Science Center, the Baltimore Museum of Industry, the National Aquarium, and American Visionary Art Museum, to in-camp activities like making homemade ice cream, park observations from the historic Patterson Park Pagoda, daily swim lessons, and a rich social emotional curriculum, Camp St. Vincent campers were always learning.

Every year, Camp St. Vincent relies on volunteer camp counselors.  This year, over 130 area high school students gave at least 80 hours of their time in service.  They helped wtih everything.  Everyday camp counselors set up all equipment and tents, led campers in daily sports, and guided them through social emotional activities.  Our volunteers provide guidance, frienship and stability to our campers but also provide them with daily support and love.

The Relationship Between Housing and Economic Mobility

The relationship between housing and economic mobility stable housing is critical to child development and family well-being. For young children, a stable home provides a positive environment for engaging in nurturing relationships with parents and other family members. For parents, a stable place to live ensures that they can devote their attention to their family rather than worry about housing. Parents in stable housing are also better able to find and maintain steady employment to provide for their families. Yet, for many families, stable and affordable housing is out of reach. Many families with low incomes struggle with the cost of housing. This can result in frequent moves, substandard housing conditions, or even homelessness. Housing uncertainty is often a large source of stress that over the long-term poses risks to child and family well-being. With more and more families renting in already tight rental markets, housing assistance programs can provide critical support. Some programs subsidize the cost of housing or provide temporary housing for families experiencing homelessness. Others help families finance the purchase of a home. Families that receive housing assistance are also more likely to enroll in more programs that offer benefits to further support families' well-being. There are many things that all programs can do to support their families to reach their housing goals, specific services vary by community but, Head Start Family Service Coordinators are available to share housing programs and eligibility requirements with their families for the long term success of their families. Source: Office of Head Start (OHS).


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