The Voice of the Poor is the advocacy arm of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. We identify those issues that are critical to those living in poverty and need, and help bring attention to them so communities and our elected representatives can help develop strategies and tactics that will provide the most effective and efficient means to reduce or eliminate poverty, including the launch of a Microloan program in 2016.
Why the Voice of the Poor?
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is concerned not only with alleviating need but also with identifying those structures, societal and legislative, that cause and perpetuate poverty. This mission manifests itself in the Society’s admonition to “End Poverty Through Systemic Change.”
How does the Society identify the issues for which it advocates?
Through our observations and experiences during home visits, Vincentians are in a position to advocate for justice in addition to addressing immediate needs through charity. Listening to the stories of those in need provides a practical “how to” regarding follow-up. In addition, their stories may help the Society identify the root causes of poverty that could be appropriately addressed by Voice of the Poor.
The National Voice of the Poor Committee has developed position papers on a series of social and economic justice issues, including an updated paper on immigration and a draft position paper on hunger. Each paper draws on Catholic Social Teaching and makes action recommendations.
If you are interested in starting a Voice of the Poor Committee in your conference or are interested in advocating at the state or federal level on those issues that impact the people we are serving, please contact the Diocesan Council President for more information. Call 614-221-3554 and leave a message.