Last week you met a cook, a maintenance worker, a dining room manager and three other St. Vincent de Paul employees in the first round of a two-part blog series celebrating on-site and front line staff.
In this second post, we turn to different service areas and introduce you to six additional staff members continuing in-person work to help SVdP serve people in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We know so many of our staff are on the front lines doing the hard work that can’t be done from home, looking our guests in the eye and serving them with love, compassion and dignity,” Executive Director Steve Zabilski said. “I’m so grateful to all our staff, to the few mentioned here, and the many not mentioned. We could celebrate a new group of passionate and devoted staff members for weeks to come because of the joy and commitment they all bring. It’s the people here that make our mission possible.”
Get to know below a few more of the many staff members fulfilling SVdP’s mission on-site and on the front lines.
Ozanam Manor Operations Manager
Maribeth keeps everything flowing smoothly inside SVdP’s transitional shelter for seniors, veterans and adults with disabilities. She oversees the daily operation of Ozanam Manor, making sure that all meals, cleaning, check-ins and case management happens so that residents have their needs met and continue on their path toward achieving permanent housing.
“If we weren’t here our residents would be out on the street. We know it’s really hard to social distance in communal living, but it’s better than living without a home or a place to take shelter during any time, but especially during a pandemic.”
Security Team Lead
Adam is the friendly guy taking temperatures and providing masks to every person entering our main campus through our front lobby. As the security team lead, he’s responsible for maintaining the safety, peace and security across all of our sites every day.
“It’s strange not having everyone on campus. I’m still not used to it, but if we didn’t show up every day a lot of people would go hungry or without their needs met.”
Every morning, sometimes even before the sun rises, Taylor works the SVdP Rob and Melani Walton Urban Farm, planting vegetables, harvesting, feeding the soil, and helping crops grow big and healthy. It’s one of three urban farms SVdP operates in tandem with a dining room. The vegetables Taylor harvests go into produce packs handed out to families in addition to the to-go meals they pick up. During normal times, the vegetables would be cooked into hot dishes from SVdP’s kitchen, but instead SVdP is sending them home with families raw, washed and ready to cook at home.
“It’s important for me to be here harvesting and taking care of the vegetables because people are still hungry. I know it’s a scary time for everyone, but our basic needs are food and water. We can’t just stop feeding people because we are afraid of what’s happening in the world. We continue to be here to help people during the scariest and lowest points for families.”
The accounting team continues to have one accountant on site to receive expense checks and ensure that all staff receive their paychecks. Lourdes, who has worked at SVdP for more than 40 years, is frequently the on-site accountant.
“It’s important for my department to keep working during these times so that our staff can buy the necessary food and resources to help people in need and so that everyone can get paid on time.”
Salvage Warehouse Supervisor
You can always find Joey on the back dock of SVdP’s main campus, where he accepts, handles and oversees all of the bulk clothing, furniture, household goods and medical equipment donations given to SVDP.
“It’s an essential core of the operation. Without this coming in, there would be a domino effect across the system that’s helping support our services. We have a part in something bigger and a mission to keep being here to help people.”
Dream Center Supervisor
Meet the leading lady in charge of SVdP’s Dream Center, which offers supplemental education programming alongside Family Evening Meal. Each night she helps man our Family Dining Room drive thru, passing out to-go meals and activity kits to families while sharing a laugh and checking in to see how they're doing.
“I have to have a connection with the families so I can help them and their children and give them an opportunity to share what’s really going on in their lives.”
Help support SVdP's COVID-19 relief effort and the staff who make it possible.
Give online at stvincentdepaul.net/COVID19Relief