The International Society of St. Vincent de Paul was founded in 1833 by Frederic Ozanam, a 20-year-old student at the Sorbonne University in Paris, France. Challenged to "practice what they preach," Frederic and a group of fellow students sought out the poor in Paris and brought them bread, clothing and most importantly, friendship. Similar groups began forming throughout the world including the United States. The first St. Vincent de Paul Conference of Alameda County in Oakland was active from 1882 to 1892. The current Council of Alameda County was established in 1938. It began with a group of six volunteer groups, called Conferences, from throughout the county who joined together to execute our mission by having district meetings together, assessing the needs of their communities, and taking action to help serve them.
Our Mission & Values
The mission of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Alameda County is to provide relief and support to those in need through person-to-person assistance guided by Vincentian principles of fellowship and individual spiritual growth. SVdP staff and volunteers are a charity united by their spirit of poverty, humility and sharing, which is nourished by prayer and reflection, mutually supportive gatherings and adherence to the basic rule.
The National Council of the United States Society of St. Vincent de Paul is a network of charity organizations with over 800,000 members. In Alameda County, SVdP is represented within a Catholic parish called a Conference. Members, known as Vincentians, serve those in need in their neighborhoods by collecting and distributing funds for eviction prevention, utility bills, and medical costs; providing clothing and furniture; and stocking church food pantries. Today, over 800 Vincentian volunteers, across 38 parishes in Alameda County, provide assistance for over 60,000 people a year. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Alameda County includes these 38 parish conferences, two thrift stores and our West Oakland direct service campus.
For more information on your nearest Conference, or for emergency resource referrals call 510-638-7600.
For more information on the national network of SVdP, visit: