St. Vincent de Paul needs items for shelters

St. Paul de Vincent’s has seen an increase in homeless children. Twenty-five cribs were donated by Dayton Children’s Hospital and transported to the homeless shelter earlier this year. FILE PHOTO
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St. Paul de Vincent’s has seen an increase in homeless children. Twenty-five cribs were donated by Dayton Children’s Hospital and transported to the homeless shelter earlier this year. FILE PHOTO

“We are so grateful for the awareness St. Vincent de Paul receives through your Make A Difference column,” writes the organization’s director of development, Rebecca DeLong. “Your DDN readers respond so well whenever you write about our organization, and we appreciate anything you can do to help us get spread our message.”

DeLong wrote this time after reviewing her shelter’s upsetting September statistics. “In September 2015 we provided 1,788 nights of shelter to homeless children, but in September 2016 this increased to 2,643. That is 855 more nights of shelter in September — just for children.” She said the number of children staying in St. Vincent de Paul’s Gateway Shelter for Women and Families increased dramatically to an average of 88 children a night in September. The number of children reached more than 100 for eight nights in September, with the highest night of 108 children.

“We served more homeless children in September than any month in the 31 year-old history of our shelters,” said St. Vincent de Paul’s executive director David Bohardt. “This is troubling not only because one homeless child is too many. It also means that families continue to struggle, and that poverty is both relentless and unforgiving.”

While many of the children in shelter are under the age of six, all school age children must be enrolled in school within three days of entering shelter. If the children already attend a Montgomery County school when the family becomes homeless, the school is required by law to send transportation to and from their home school.

“This really gives the kids a sense of stability and continuity while their guardians work on a housing plan,” said DeLong, “Homelessness is never a child’s fault, and we want to make the transition as smooth as possible for them.”

St. Vincent de Paul provides essential items for the children and all shelter guests, so they can focus on steps to regain their independence. Guests receive food, clothing, toiletry items, and much more. “Many of these items come from the generous donations from the Dayton community, including regular gifts from the readers of Make a Difference,” said Hannah Krafka, Marketing and Communications.

Here’s what they need:

  • Diapers (size 6)
  • Cleaners (all purpose, floor, and bathroom)
  • Soaps (dish, laundry, and hand)
  • Bottles of lotion (large)
  • Mops, brooms, dustpans
  • Cleaning buckets
  • Can openers
  • Vegetables (canned and fresh)
  • Baby lotion (large and small)
  • Baby powder (large)
  • Body wash (large)
  • Alcohol-free mouthwash (large and small)
  • Hair conditioner (large)
  • Toasters (gently used)
  • Garbage cans with lids
  • Shower curtains, liners, and hooks
  • Twin sheet sets
  • Twin blankets
  • Towels (bath and hand)
  • Washcloths

Your donations can be taken at any time to St. Vincent de Paul, 124 West Apple St., Dayton. (Follow the sign indicating where donations can be dropped off and ring the bell. Someone will come to help you.) Donations are tax-deductible.

Financial donations are also appreciated since wish list items can often be purchased at discounted rates with money contributed to the shelter. You can donate online, over the phone, in person, or by mail: St. Vincent de Paul, 124 West Apple St., Dayton, OH 45402 or call (937)222-7349 Ext. 416.

Each week, Meredith Moss profiles a non-profit organization in our community and its special needs. If your group has a wish list it would like to share with our readers, contact Meredith: MMoss@coxohio.com

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