Conference News and Notes
for Wednesday, April 6, 2022
Sent to all Vincentians & Staff
Vincentian Reflection for Palm Sunday of Our Lord's Passion
Sunday, April 10, 2022

Gospel: (Luke 19:28-40) Jesus proceeded on his journey up to Jerusalem… And his disciples who had been sent went off and found everything just as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying this colt?” They answered, “The Master has need of it.” So they brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks over the colt, and helped Jesus to mount. As He rode along, the people were spreading their cloaks on the road; …the whole multitude of His disciples began to praise God aloud with joy for all the mighty deeds they had seen. They proclaimed: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest.”

Reflection: This Sunday we begin the holiest of Christian weeks, and we carry palms in procession with the atmosphere charged with both expectation and contradiction, with joy and soberness. For most of us Holy Week unfolds like many other weeks; we still contend with work, school, preparing meals, doing laundry, cranky folks, the usual triumphs and setbacks. The readings for Palm Sunday invite us to make this an extraordinary week - a week that concentrates in a few days the ultimate meaning of our whole lives. We must slow down and make choices so that this week doesn’t go by without our taking the time to enter into its meaning. The real pity of this Holy Week would be that we miss the opportunity to empty ourselves, take up our own cross, and follow Jesus through death to new life. (Living Liturgy, p.94)

Vincentian Meditation: All Christian spirituality focuses on the crucified and risen Jesus. He is the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Him. The cross is the symbol of what is at the core of Jesus’ person: “The way we came to understand love was that He laid down His life for us; we, too, must lay down our lives for one another.” (referencing John 3:16) The crucified Jesus proclaims that self-giving love is at the heart of being God and at the heart of being human. St. Vincent often recommended to us to meditate on the cross as the symbol of God’s love. It is most important that we ourselves experience the love God reveals through the cross, that we have a deep confidence in a personal loving God who works actively in our lives. (Maloney, Seasons in Spirituality, p.58)

What will you do to find the deeper meaning of Holy Week this year?
April Formation Opportunities & Events

Exploring Poverty (Rescheduled)
This workshop deepens our sense of solidarity with those we serve by exploring the perspectives of our neighbors in poverty and the differences between socio-economic classes.
Wednesday, April 20 (rescheduled), 5:30-8:30pm, Ozanam Center (in the Liz Carter Center, 1125 Bank Street)
Call-Taking Workshop: “Seeing the Face of Christ via the Phone”
We will discuss best practices in call-taking, record-keeping, and dealing with crisis situations. Extensive Q&A time is included.
Monday, April 25, 6:00-8:30pm, NOC Community Room
Home Visit Workshop
A chance to hone your skills, share insights and ask lingering questions about the foundation of our work in the Society.
Saturday, April 30, 9:00am-noon, St. Catharine of Siena
Or you are welcome to email your RSVP to any of these events at [email protected] .
Additional Daily Lenten Reflection Content
You can find our full sequence of daily reflections, including Vincentian Stations of the Cross to complete our Lenten progression, on the Members Support & Forms Page of our SVDP - Cincinnati website at . Simply enter the password " member " (without quotation marks), then scroll down to 2022 Lenten Reflections where you can click on any of the 4 series releases. While there, you will also find a deep list of resources that are available with a single click.
Please Welcome Chris Kelley,
our new Formation and Service Learning Director
Chris comes to us with several years of experience in a variety of ministries and roles in parishes, hospitals, and universities across the East Coast...and now, Cincinnati. Before joining our team, Chris was the Director of Pastoral Ministries for All Saints Catholic Church and is originally from Connecticut – having moved to Cincinnati a few months ago. Chris will be assisting our Vincentians, Conferences, and our Ozanam Service Learning Center to engage in a deeper connection to our core elements of Faith, Friendship, and Service. We will together strive for greater holiness and seek to live out our Vincentian spirituality - a daily life journey of growth. Great to have you with us, Chris.
Archdiocese of Cincinnati Beacons of Light Initiative

  • Our Archdiocese continues to post fresh content at .
  • Our Archdiocese hosts monthly Beacons Roundtable Zoom gatherings on Tuesdays, 1:30-3pm. These gatherings are attracting priests, deacons, parish leaders, and passionate parishioners from throughout our Archdiocese. April's gathering on 4/26 is entitled Stewardship as a Way of Life. Future dates are 5/17 & 6/21. This is all part of Phase 0 - Warm-Up - of this Beacons of Light initiative. In this Phase 0, we are encouraged to pray, learn, and prepare. Phase 1 - Leadership - begins with the implementation on 7/1.
  • Are you building enthusiasm for opportunities in your Family of Parishes?
Summer Heat Relief

We will again be providing fans and air conditioners to eligible neighbors throughout our District Council's footprint. The program will officially begin on Mon, May 2. Please use this link to review our program description: or find this explanation on the Member Support & Forms page of our website under the heading “2022 Summer Heat Relief Plan.”
Our neighbors and you will also be able to access our application at once this program goes live on Mon, 5/2.
Referring Neighbors for our Council's
Centrally Administered Assistance Programs
TANF update: We have fully extended the TANF funding which was made available to us. We do not expect additional TANF funding before 2023. We will keep you posted as we learn more. 
EPI update: We are nearing full extension of our current allotment of the City of Cincinnati's Eviction Prevention Initiative funding. We are still processing applications. And we do anticipate funding replenishment from the City; we are yet to determine if we will need to temporarily suspend extension of this assistance. More to come.

City of Cincinnati's Eviction Prevention Initiative (EPI) eligibility:
Neighbors must live in the City of Cincinnati and have formal notice of eviction proceedings.

Vincentians who have connected with a neighbor whom they feel would be a good candidate for EPI should email our Call Center Coordinator, Muslimah Winbush, at [email protected] , with a referral. This email should consist of the following:
  • Name of your Conference
  • Full name of the neighbor you are referring
  • Neighbor’s phone number
  • Neighbor’s email address
Your email will ensure that we have proper documentation of the initial referral. Muslimah will then contact the neighbor to complete the request. If the neighbor cannot be reached by phone, the neighbor will be sent an email expressing that we have attempted to reach out to them and that if they are still in need of the assistance, they would need to call Muslimah directly. Once the request form has been completed, Muslimah will send an email to the Vincentian who made the referral confirming that the request form has been submitted for review. Please do not ask the neighbors to call Muslimah directly unless they are returning her call.
Please understand that we do not have the resources to extend assistance to every eligible neighbor and manage expectations accordingly. Selections are made from all eligible request forms (including neighbors who do & do not reside in Conference footprints) submitted in a given week; request forms are not carried over from week to week, but a neighbor who was not selected can be resubmitted.
As we are experiencing, availability of assistance through these funded programs is fluid. We will continue to pass along new developments so you can adjust your approach - and manage expectations - accordingly.
Our St Jude Young Adult Conference is Eager to Partner with You
to Bring Spice to Our Neighbors

The Spice Tour is here! Brought to you by our brand-new St Jude Young Adults Conference.
Herbs and spices will make a huge difference to the food our neighbors will transform into meals to be enjoyed. Anything you can spare will go a long way!
A collection container will be touring parishes around Cincinnati over the coming month; donors can drop off any herbs and spices they may wish to donate. The Spice Tour's 1st stop was @ St Bernard (Spring Grove Village) this past weekend. Currently booked stops include:
This Sun, 4/10 - Annunciation
Sun, 4/24 - St Joseph (West End) & Cathedral Basilica
Sun, 5/1 - St Francis Xavier
During the week, feel free to drop donations off just behind the front desk in our NOC. The donation harvest will be available to our neighbors shopping the Catino Choice Food Pantry in our NOC and our network of pantries throughout our Council's footprint.
Want to learn more about how the Spice Tour can extend its run to visit your parish? You can contact Gabby at [email protected] or Alec at [email protected] .
Our Thrift Stores are Eager for Your Furniture Donations

Demand for furniture (for voucher redemption and purchase) is currently exceeding the pace of donations we are receiving. Do you have surplus furniture you'd like to donate? Just call us @ 513.421.2273 (421-CARE) to make it happen. Thank you for repurposing this furniture with someone who will truly value it.
Cooking Improv with La Soupe

Our Catino Choice Food Pantry is partnering with La Soupe to present monthly Cooking Improv demonstrations in the Teaching Kitchen at our Neyer Outreach Center. Instructors from La Soupe will teach participants basic cooking principles and how to use what you have to create delicious, nutritious meals. The demonstrations will be on the first Wednesday of every month, 11am-1pm. The demos last 15-20 minutes and will be presented continuously during this time frame. Each demonstration will be limited to seven participants.
Our next event is today (Wed, 4/6). No pre-registration is required. Feel free to share this information with your neighbors, or if you’re interested in getting involved in our Teaching Kitchen programming, please reach out to Demi Schoenherr at [email protected] for more information.
CMS is Your Tool!

  • 36 Conferences have implemented CMS and are benefitting from its functionality
  • 9 Conferences have onboarded since June, 2021
  • Our St Cecilia Conference implemented on 3/1/2022!
  • April is here - Who's next?
  • CMS will deliver its greatest value to you, your fellow Vincentians, and your neighbors when ALL of our Conferences are on board
Bottom-line: This tool helps you better engage and lift your neighbors. And it will help us better attract resources to assist these same neighbors experiencing need. Join fellow Vincentians & Conferences and make this leap forward now! 

CMS help sessions are available by appointment. Please contact John Wessel at [email protected] or 513.562.1823 to schedule a session, which can be for groups or individuals.
CMS training videos are located on our website, accessed via the Members tab, or just use this link:
If prompted for a password, enter “ member ”, all lower case and without the quotation marks.
Social Security Offices to Re-Open to In-Person Services

Our local Social Security offices are poised to resume in-person services, including for people without an appointment, effective tomorrow (Thurs, 4/7). Learn more at this
blog article from Acting Commissioner Kilolo Kijakazi.
More Resources for our Conferences and Neighbors

Conference Assistance Fund (CAF)
We extended $54,287 in Feb for an FY2022 YTD (5 months) total CAF assistance of $292,009.
March activity:
  • You submitted 178 applications
  • We approved 194 applications - approx $81,500 in assistance
  • 2 applications were withdrawn; 2 were declined
  • This was our most active month in over 1 year
April activity (through Tues, 4/5):
  • You've submitted 19 applications
  • We've approved 11 applications
  • We currently have 19 applications in progress toward approval
We are pleased to relay that we have received another twinning of available funds from a Conference. This recent generosity has augmented our Council's provisions to keep us extending CAF assistance without disruption. We offer thanks to the Conferences & their donors for this sharing, to you for submitting quality applications, to our volunteers who are processing these applications so promptly, and to Olivia for her positive get 'er done presence. As has been our recently repeated message, we encourage you to fully consider our neighbor's situation and other resources which could be deployed as you discern a request for CAF assistance. This is particularly applicable to neighbor situations where the total $ required exceeds the sum of the assistance you can assemble - and please remember there are other programs available in our community which have provisions for much higher assistance caps. If you are contemplating extending CAF assistance as a more-immediate bridge due to extended turnaround times for other publicly-funded community programs, please make sure our neighbor is in the queue for these other programs to which they should be eligible. Advocate for & with our neighbor to seek these community resources!

Our Charitable Pharmacy is Still Providing COVID Vaccinations
The CDC has recently released new guidance on boosters for those most susceptible to severe COVID complications. Want more info? Our Charitable Pharmacy staff is available to answer any questions. You can contact Dr. Rusty Curington at [email protected] and a Pharmacy team member will respond.

Our Re-Entry Program
Our Re-Entry Program is eager to work with neighbors you are serving who have been affected by the criminal justice system. This includes individuals who are currently incarcerated or have been incarcerated in the past; it also includes people who have had interactions with the criminal justice system but have not been incarcerated. It can also include neighbors who have a family member who falls into one of these categories. If you are serving a neighbor who may benefit from these services, which include: 
  • Direct assistance, including rent, utility, and other basic needs assistance
  • Referrals to employment and housing resources
  • Case management
  • Advice related to expungement and child support issues
Please refer them to our Re-Entry Program Manager, Dion Crockett. Dion can be reached at 513.562.8851 or at [email protected] . You may contact Dion directly or you may share his contact information with the neighbor so that they may contact him. 
Dion is also eager to connect with our Conferences. if you would like to host Dion at a Conference meeting or get together with him in another way, please reach out to him.

Rahe Beds Fund & Program
Your April bed requests (up to 5 beds per Conference) sent to Gabby at [email protected] by yesterday are currently being reviewed and processed. You will receive notice if there are April beds still remaining.
If your Conference is considering purchasing beds to extend as assistance, you can get info, including current pricing, or purchase by contacting Dave Chidlow, Stores Retail Resource Manager, at [email protected] or 513.853.1002. Your purchased beds will be picked up at our CHRC within our Liz Carter Center.
We still have a limited number of cribs & pack ‘n’ plays available for neighbors with children too young for beds (under age two). These do not count against the limit of two Rahe beds per household per lifetime. If you have a neighbor who is in need of a crib or pack ‘n’ play, please contact Gabby. We will provide the neighbor with a voucher that can be redeemed at our CHRC.
Do you have questions about our Rahe Beds Fund & Program?
Please click on this link Bed Program Conference Guide to review our most current information, which includes some updates to the way beds assistance should be entered in CMS. 

Education Center Within Our Neyer Outreach Center
Our NOC Education Center is available for neighbors to use during our operating hours: Monday - Friday, 8am - 4pm, and Saturday, 8am - noon.

Christ Church Plumb Line
Olivia Scheper, Conferences Support Coordinator, is our central contact point-person. Plumb Line only accepts assistance referrals from this single SVDP point-person.
As a reminder, Plumb Line can assist with $400 of past due rent for neighbors who are currently working.
All referrals to Plumb Line should be sent to:
Olivia Scheper
Phone: 513.345.4986, ext 239

Greater Cincinnati Water Works (GCWW)
GCWW's Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program provides funds for assistance for eligible tenants residing in the City of Cincinnati. The funds will pay GCWW water, sewer, and stormwater charges. Any accrued charges during March 2020 (the start of the pandemic) or after are eligible to be paid with these funds.
Tenants must qualify by completing an online application at  and certifying that their household income is at or below 80% of Area Median Income (AMI). Renters can also call 513.591.7700 to receive assistance from the call center to complete an application. If eligible neighbors have balances prior to March 2020, those charges will not be paid with these funds. However, neighbors can enroll in a flexible payment plan through the PromisePay Portal. GCWW customers can visit for details about the program and how to enroll. Customers who have paid their accounts and/or have an active payment plan on their GCWW account(s) and keep up with their current charges will be removed from the delinquency/shutoff process.
Renters not residing in Cincinnati city limits but living in Hamilton County can visit for utility assistance.
If you need additional materials or information, please contact GCWW at [email protected] .
Note: The previously-announced suspension of delinquency/shutoffs expired as of April 1. Please encourage our neighbors with past-due balances to proactively address their obligation before they face a disruption of service.

Duke Energy
For questions on accounts or pledges for neighbors requesting utility assistance, please contact Duke Energy's Centralized Agency Team at 800.241.3194. Advocates are currently available Monday through Friday, 7:30am - 5:30pm.
Seasonal developments:
  • The Winter Reconnect Order went into effect on 10/18 and runs through 4/15/2022 - closure to this seasonal window is only a little over 1 week away 
  • The HEAP Winter Crisis Program began on 11/1/2021
  • Find more info at
  • Duke Energy has provided a series of toolkits to help their customers. We have posted these resources to our website; you'll find the webpage at this link: We will continue to update this page as we receive additional content.

City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County COVID Assistance
There is still a substantial sum of COVID federal economic recovery & relief emergency funding available in our area. If you encounter a neighbor who has experienced financial hardship due to COVID, please refer them to .

Cincinnati Eye Institute Foundation (CEIF) Vision Clinic in our Neyer Outreach Center
The Vision Clinic operates by appointment on certain Thursdays as designated by CEIF. Our Vision Clinic is open, 8:30am - 3pm, tomorrow and all 3 remaining Thursdays in April. A limited number of walk-in exams can also be accommodated. To schedule an appointment, or to inquire for additional info, please call 513.207.6140.
Call to Prayer

As we enter into the mystery of the passion of Christ, we pray:
Christ, our Savior, hear our prayer.
That this Holy Week may deepen our understanding of the cross,
Christ, our Savior, hear our prayer.
For all who suffer injustice and abuse, may we help them carry their cross,
Christ, our Savior, hear our prayer.