Shelter and Transport
The most basic need of those who are chronically poor and those in situational crisis is utility assistance, particularly during St. Louis’ harsh winters and sweltering summers, when a lack of access could result in illness or death. As the compounding costs of unpaid utility bills pile up, people in need struggle to cover more and more of their other expenses, creating a cycle of poverty nearly impossible the rise out of. We respond to this great need by devoting over half of its direct aid funding to utility assistance each year, helping St. Louisans in need meet their basic needs of a comfortable, safe place to live.
One of the Society’s first services was to provide firewood to those in need. Today, that commitment to providing utility assistance remains. In fiscal year 2014, utility assistance made up the largest distribution (57 percent) of our direct aid, totaling more than $3.3 million provided to St. Louisans in need, including more than $2.4 million for electricity, $661,638 for gas and $231,234 for other utilities, such as water, fuel oil, etc.
A car can make a tremendous difference in someone’s journey to self-sufficiency. Reliable transportation helps people secure employment, take care of their family, and improve their employment opportunities. The Society works with our financial partners to provide a menu of services, including repair services, car purchases and low interest loans, to help those in need maintain reliable transportation. We gratefully accept your vehicle donations.
A violent clash of opulence and poverty is shaking the ground under our feet. Our duty as Christians is to throw ourselves between these two camps in order to accomplish by love what justice alone cannot do.
– Bl. Frédéric Ozanam