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By Paul Ainslie, President, SVdP Indy Council

Since the very beginning of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, home visits have been the most important part of the work we do. Two Vincentians pair up to visit people in need, bringing with them the promise that God will not abandon them, even in the darkest of times.

The home visit begins a relationship with those we serve. Our time during the visit allows us to listen, understand and see Christ in people who may be very different from us. The home visit is not an easy task, and certainly not very efficient. A phone call or even an online form may seem like a faster way to help. But efficiency in this particular role is much less important than building a relationship.

David Brooks, an author, speaker and columnist for the New York Times who participated a few years back at the Faith and Action Project here in Indy, has stated “Programs don’t solve problems; relationships solve problems.”

Our 30th Street Food Pantry, Distribution Center and Mission 27 are all wonderful programs that meet the needs of those we serve. Our dedicated volunteers make all this great and important work possible. But the relationship we can start with a home visit can truly change lives.

Please consider restarting home visits in your Conference if you haven’t already. These visits are so much a part of who we are as Vincentians. They are the heart of our service.