SVDP is the number one referral service provider for Metro United Way’s 2-1-1 call center in Louisville. The number of calls we receive isn’t slowing down any time soon, and in fact, has largely increased since 2020.
“We call them back the very day that they call because we want to get to work for them. These people are desperate. We do what we can,” said Ann Bizzell, longtime Vincentian at St. Edward Conference in Jeffersontown.
Inflation in rent, gas, and grocery prices have influenced an increase in need. Since the pandemic, there has been an upward trend in calls to our organization, which speaks to a growing need in our community. The calls might be about a rent or utility payment that’s due the following day, otherwise they will be evicted, or their water has been turned off. These aren’t light matters, but speak to how families can be one unpaid bill from experiencing a catastrophe and becoming homeless.
Here are some phone call stats:
- Since 2020, we have received an increase in calls every year (refer to the chart). In 2023, we received 3,000 more calls compared to four years ago.
- We took calls from 76 zip codes in 2023. We are serving 12 additional zip codes compared to 2020.
- The footprint we field calls for is extended beyond that of Jefferson County, which has 73 zip codes.
Metro United Way refers someone in need to us more than any other nonprofit in our area in large part to our 27 St. Vincent de Paul parish-based conferences (volunteer groups) throughout Louisville and Central Kentucky. Our 644 conference members respond with a sense of urgency.
“It’s a collaborative effort with other conferences. We have such a good network,” Bizzell added. “Other ministries and churches in the area are calling our conferences because they know we will take care of those in need.”
Here’s how the conferences have answered the call to those in need from Oct. 2022 to Sept. 2023:
- Provided $1.4 million in food, clothing, and financial assistance to nearly 28,000 people
- 16,500 in-person home visits
- Drove more than 41,000 miles
- Volunteered more than 51,000 hours of service time