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.
Our Mission & Values
The mission of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is “a network of friends, inspired by Gospel values, growing in holiness and building a more just world through personal relationships with and service to people in need.”
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 37 parishes in Alameda County, provide assistance for over 100,000 people a year. For more information on your nearest Conference, or for emergency resource referrals call 510-638-7600.