COVID-19 Updates

Diocesan Board President’s Message

Vincentian Brothers and Sisters,

These are different times aren’t they? With the help of God, we will all get through it and once again return to our normal lives, but perhaps with some permanent changes.  The Vincentian spirit strongly burns in all of us and we want to continue our service. But prudence and the wisest of the public health officials as well as our Governor, have decided we must suspend our usual practices for the time being.

Still, our office and dining room remain open, see Mark’s message below. Because our office remains open, we are answering, by phone, requests for help. Office personnel will continue to write and mail requests for help to the appropriate conferences. For guidance on how to respond to them, see “Of Use to Your Conference” below. For the time being, that’s the best we can do.

Be safe and take care of yourself. If you stay healthy by following the guidelines, you will be able to return to service soon. If you are careless and get ill, you may not be able to return to service at all. With today’s modern public health, we know how to be safe.

Remember our founder Frederick Ozanam was struck down, by a communicable disease, tragically young ending a promising lifetime of service. However ill Frederic found himself, he still continued to practice charitable works through deed, affirming exhortations to his fellow Vincentians and prayer. May his example sustain us now.

Serving you and St. Vincent,
Larry Brooks

Executive Director’s Message
I just wanted to inform you as to what is happening with the Society and our operations at 1298 Main Street in light of current events.
We have been monitoring the situation regarding spread of the coronavirus illness it causes. The health and safety of the neighbors in need that we serve and of our customers, members, volunteers and employees are what matter obviously.
First, I want to share with you how honored I am to work with our Buffalo SVDP staff.
Our employees have gone above and beyond in many cases to fulfill the organization’s mission. Many volunteers understandably had to suspend their regular visits to our site. Seeing this, members of the staff have volunteered to cross over and help wherever they can be of aid outside of their normal job descriptions. I have had some great opportunities to talk with the staff over the last week. I know that they are worried about their families, their jobs and their health but they still show up ready to help those who come to us. We share a common frustration that we can’t help as we were able to a month ago to those who call. Yet the staff that have reported to 1298 Main have done what they can with kindness, compassion and determination.
  • Vincent’s Discount Store has been cleaned and restocked to be ready to open when allowed.
  • We are running 1 truck to service the clothing bins which are continuing to be filled. We believe that is being done by those who are spring cleaning during the stay at home advisory.
  • I have issued the proper paper work to essential employees to allow them to be able to report to work as deemed needed.
  • We continue to operate our Dining Room as a “to-go” model. We are serving close to 100 box lunches between 11am and noon 4 days a week. We have picked up some new food donation sources which we have begun a relationship with that should extend once we get back to normal operations. These donors were happy to know that we continue to be of service during this extraordinary time and were impressed by our operation.
  • We cannot order any new mattresses at this time as the factory that supplies us is shut down.
  • The Office will continue to be answering the phone and email to the best of our ability.
  • We continue to explore funding programs available to help the Society through the next few weeks.
Since this growing health crisis is fluid, we will continue to adapt and make changes to our standard operating procedures as warranted in accordance with health officials recommendations and governmental rules.
I will keep you posted as I can and hope that you and your loved ones remain safe in the upcoming weeks,
Mark Zirnheld