Education & Employment Attainment
Since being established in Des Moines in 1924, the main focus of St. Vincent de Paul's (SVdP) work is to assist those living in poverty in becoming self-sufficient by helping to remove roadblocks as we walk with them on their journey out of poverty.The Des Moines Council operates a thrift store, a social services department, and an education center.SVdP employs around 18 paid staff and many volunteers.
The approach of St. Vincent de Paul is multifaceted, and intentionally diversified. Our goal is to treat the symptoms that have caused our clients to experience poverty, not just patch the problem with funding.As such, our social services and education center work hand-in-hand to provide access to resources for those in need.These resources may include, but are not limited to:
Tom Varilek Education Center-With access to a state of the art classroom that includes 14 computers and a high-tech Smart Board, individuals can get help in high school equivalency diploma also known as (HiSED) classes, assistance with job and apartment searches, basic computer classes in English and Spanish, tutoring in reading and math, participate in the National Career Readiness Certificate assessment (NCRC) program, open lab time each week, get access to a mentor, and access our Child Watch center while attending classes.We will also be offering ongoing financial literacy training sessions, cash register training, and a partnership with Central Iowa Works to train individuals for a career in financial services.
Social Services (two locations)-clients may be eligible to receive assistance in rent, utilities, hygiene products, infant needs such as new cribs and car seats, food, clothing, and furniture. Clients are eligible to apply for financial assistance once every 6 months based on need. Clients receiving assistance for clothing and food can receive help every week based on needs.
Thrift Stores-open to the public individuals in need, or people from all walks of life, come into our store and purchase secondhand items at low cost such as furniture, clothing for men, women, and young adults, shoes, appliances, beds and much more.
End Poverty Through Systemic Change.It is also important to know that St. Vincent de Paul serves anyone who walks through its doors, without any requirements to be eligible for services.