Society of St. Vincent de Paul-Indianapolis Archdiocesan Council, Inc.

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Home Visits: At the Heart of SVdP

“I love doing them,” says Bill Booher. “I absolutely love them.”

Debi Mitchell agrees: “They are such a blessing to me. They’re a mission—a way to give back just as Christ asks us to do.”

Bill and Debi are referring to the Home Visitor Program where a pair of Conference members go visit with an individual or family who has reached out to SVdP Indy for help and resources.

“While phone or email may be more efficient, you just don’t get the same sense of what someone needs unless you truly visit with someone in person,” says Debi, who has been doing visits for 10 years. “And oftentimes, people just want to tell someone their story.”

Who We Are As Vincentians
Since the very beginning of SVdP, these home visits have been one of the most important parts of the work we do. SVdP Indy President Paul Ainslie says these visits are so much a part of who we are as Vincentians.

“They are the heart of our service,” he says. “During the visit, Conference members are able to listen, understand and see Christ in people who may be very different from us.”

Volunteers Needed for Home Visits
While requests for home visits were down during the pandemic, they are increasing again—along with the need for more Conference members to help with home visits.

“Some Conference members are hesitant about going into the house of someone they don’t know, and that’s reasonable,” says Bill. “Though, in 15 years, I have never once felt scared or encountered a problem. Most people are very grateful for us to come. And many are new to the situation they are in and scared themselves.”

Others may be reluctant to volunteer because there are not set volunteer times. No problem says Bill.

“Tell us when you are available. Visits last about 45 minutes and if we can schedule them at a time that fits your schedule, we will. If not, we’ll ask someone else,” Bill explains. “But if we have a pool of people to call upon, we’ll be better able to serve people.”

A Blessing for All Involved
If you decide to volunteer with the Home Visitor Program, you will be paired with an experienced volunteer in your Conference. They will help you know what to expect, how to respond, what things we can help with, and how to connect with other community resources.

There’s not a special set of skills need to work with the Home Visitor Program. Volunteers simply need to be willing to listen, show compassion and be open to the experience.

“I always enjoy meeting people and praying with them. It is such a blessing working with these individuals,” says Debi. “And I love seeing how God provides. So many times, we’ve gotten just what someone needed right when we needed it.”

Interested in Home Visits?
If you’re interested in helping with home visits, please contact your Conference President or the parish office. All Conferences coordinate visits for those in their community.

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