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Walking with Moms: Sleep Tight

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Sleep Tight: Society of St. Vincent De Paul Provides Beds to Thousands in the Community

by Kary Ellen Barger

Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for everyone — whether that is a child preparing for school or an adult facing a day’s responsibilities. No matter what a person’s “tomorrow” holds, sleep is one of life’s necessities. Unfortunately, having a comfortable and safe sleeping environment is not always possible for those in need.

For more than 150 years, leaders at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul – Cincinnati (SVDP – Cincinnati) have helped thousands of people through a wide array of services in Hamilton County. That’s why, in addition to resources like medications, food and emergency funds for rent and utility bills, they also operate a bed program.

“St. Vincent de Paul – Cincinnati’s Bed Program serves families who have suffered a range of traumatic experiences—eviction from their previous dwelling, bed bug infestations, homelessness, domestic abuse, or financial emergencies—that simply do not make a bed purchase possible,” said Kristen Gallagher, Marketing & Communications Manager for SVDP
– Cincinnati. “For adults and children who have suffered these traumas, their previous beds (if they had one) were often lost or left behind during their family’s housing crisis. When these families establish a new place to stay, they are not always able to provide beds for each member of the family.”

Gallagher predicted that in 2022, SVDP will distribute at least 2,160 beds throughout Hamilton County.

“For [such] individuals and families . . . this program provides more than just a place to sleep,” said Gallagher. “These beds are tangible symbols of stability, security, dignity and comfort”—fundamentals that many young mothers and families struggle to obtain.

“There is a saying in the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, ‘No work of charity is foreign to the Society,’” noted Gallagher. “It is in this spirit that our Vincentians and staff find themselves helping in infinitely inventive ways. Ultimately, our Vincentians are incredibly humble people; they view their service as a calling or vocation, rather than volunteer work.”

It’s a vocation that embraces the dignity of all human beings—and a concept that someone who is served through SVDP will not experience only in a dream.

For the next Walking with Moms article, click here.

This article appeared in the July 2022 edition of The Catholic Telegraph Magazine. For your complimentary subscription, click here.

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