Conference News and Notes
for Wednesday, February 23, 2022
Sent to all Vincentians & Staff
Vincentian Reflection for the Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Sunday, February 27, 2022

Gospel: (Luke 6:39-45) Jesus said to his disciples: “Why look at the speck in your brother’s eye when you miss the plank in your own? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck from your eye,’ yet fail yourself to see the plank lodged in your own? Hypocrite, remove the plank from your own eye first; then you will see clearly enough to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

Reflection: Most of us think that we have more forgiveness to give than to receive. We like to think that more people are unfair or unjust to us than we are to them. Because we think in that way, we find it hard to offer forgiveness, real forgiveness, to others. We think much more of how hard it is for us to forgive than we do about the difficulty that others have in forgiving us. We measure out our forgiveness like money, very carefully and with much calculation. I doubt if we use the same care when we come to measuring the cost of that forgiveness which we expect and receive from others. If we spent more time thinking about what it costs others to forgive us, rather than about what it costs us to forgive others, we would be more successful in taking resentment out of our hearts. (McCullen, Deep Down Things, p.566)

Vincentian Meditation: For Vincentians, who think much about the poverty and hunger in our country, and of what we could do to alleviate it, how much thought have we given to forgiveness? It is probably true that the very fact of the present unequal distribution of wealth in the United States causes resentment in the hearts of many of our poor brothers and sisters. Where there is resentment, there is need for offering forgiveness. So we, who have more of the world’s goods, may be more in need than we realize of receiving forgiveness. St. Vincent is quoted as saying that “it is only because of our love, only our love, that the poor will forgive us the bread we give to them.” Today, as in Vincent and Frederic’s day, people do not live by bread alone. The bread we offer must be seasoned well with the condiments of justice and love. (McCullen, Deep Down Things, p.566-567)

How have you found that the poor indeed “forgive us” when we serve in love?
March is Rich in Formation Opportunities & Events
for Your Lenten Journey - Let's Walk Together

First Friday Fellowship
Join your fellow Vincentians, as well as SVDP staff and volunteers, on the first Friday of each month as we share fellowship and conversation about the many rich dimensions of the Society’s essential elements: Faith, Friendship, and Service. Next up:
March 4, Noon-1pm, via Zoom: Intro to Spanish and Hispanic/Latinx Cultural Awareness
Learn some key phrases and welcoming practices to best serve our Spanish-speaking neighbors from a panel of SVDP staff and native speakers.


Ozanam Orientation
Your first opportunity to participate in Ozanam Orientation in 2022!
Saturday, March 5, 9:00am-3:00pm, in-person @ St Vivian (Finneytown)
This workshop covers the essential elements of what it means to be part of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. As Vincentians, we are all required to attend this Orientation at least once. The Orientation is valuable whether you are a new member looking for an introduction to SVDP or a seasoned Vincentian desiring to deepen your experience of the Society...and you meet fellow local Vincentians from beyond your Conference.
This offering is quickly approaching capacity - Register now by emailing [email protected] or calling 513.345.4966. Registration will close at the sooner of capacity filled or this Tuesday, March 1.


Exploring Poverty
Saturday, March 12, 9:00am-noon, in-person in our Ozanam Center (3rd floor, Liz Carter Center, 1125 Bank St)
This workshop deepens our sense of solidarity with those we serve by exploring the perspectives of our neighbors in poverty and the similarities as well as the differences between socioeconomic classes. Register now by emailing [email protected] or calling 513.345.4966.


Ozanam Orientation, Exploring Poverty, and our Home Visit Workshop (next offered in April) comprise our Vincentian Vocation Series. This series of three workshops is intended for all new Vincentians and for Vincentians looking to renew their commitment to the Vincentian vocation. Participants may attend any combination of one or more of these sessions.


Annual Vincentian Mass & Retreat
Saturday, March 26, 8:00am Mass, 9:00am-noon retreat, in-person @ St Ignatius of Loyola (Monfort Heights)
Join SVDP's National Formation Director, Tim Williams, who is coming to our city specifically to facilitate this retreat. Held annually during the Lenten season, this retreat responds to the Society’s call to faith, friendship, and service; a special morning of reflection and prayer. This year’s theme is “Our Essential Friendship”.
Our capacity is limited. Register now to secure your presence in this gathering at
Your Conferences Support Team
Your Conferences Support team is excited to announce Alec Jewell is our new Conferences Manager. Alec has facilitated progress as Volunteer Manager since his arrival to our Cincinnati Council in April 2021; has nurtured relationships with our volunteers; and has generously shared a contagious passion for “faith lived” in this Vincentian vocation.

Pictured above are Alec Jewell and Olivia Scheper; we introduced Olivia upon her early January arrival as Conferences Support Coordinator. Their smiles are very much representative of their personalities.

Alec, Olivia, our volunteers, & Tom Roberts are eager to support and further empower your and your Conferences' good works - engaging our neighbors and one another, embracing our Archdiocese’s Beacons of Light initiative, fully implementing and leveraging our CMS tool, and facilitating greater Conferences & Council hub collaboration. Our opportunities to grow in faith, friendship, service, and therefore impact are plentiful.

We encourage you to get to know Alec & Olivia. Our future together is bright!
Archdiocese of Cincinnati Beacons of Light Initiative

  • Our Archdiocese released pastors & parochial vicars assignments to Families of Parishes on Mon, 2/14; the assignments are effective with the implementation of this Beacons of Light initiative on 7/1. You will find a summary of the assignments, and additional content & context, at .
  • Our meeting of Conference Presidents, dedicated to Beacons of Light, is Sat, 3/19, 9am - noon, in our Ozanam Center (3rd floor, Liz Carter Center, 1125 Bank St). We are excited to gather in-person to nurture relationship, especially within Families of Parishes. Meeting invitations have been sent and we're eager to have each & every Conference represented. Responses thus far are encouraging. Participants, please watch for advance materials.
  • 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. February's gathering focused on Eucharist: Center of Parish Life. The next is Tues, 3/15, with future dates: 4/26, 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.
  • Please join together to embrace and seize Beacons opportunities to advance our Vincentian vocation and amplify our impact!
We Need Your Help

Our External Relations team is asking all Vincentians to help find our next Gift Processing Coordinator! This critical position is responsible for all tasks related to SVDP’s donor database including gift processing, donation acknowledgments, mailing lists, online donation and registration forms, reporting, and more. Candidates do not need to have a fundraising background but should be detail-oriented with previous experience working in databases, CRMs, or similar programs. Find the full job description on the SVDP website (you may need to scroll down). Resumes and cover letters can be submitted to Daniel Flynn at 513.345.4994 or [email protected]. Thank you for promoting—or even applying for—this exciting opportunity.
Referring Neighbors for potential TANF and EPI Assistance
In response to your feedback, we have taken steps to streamline the process for Vincentians to refer neighbors whom they feel would be good candidates for the Eviction Prevention Initiative (EPI) or Temporary Aid for Needy Families (TANF). Vincentians who have connected with neighbors whom they feel would be a good candidate for either program 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.
Since this is a new accommodation, your feedback is greatly appreciated. We are encouraged by how quickly some Conferences & Vincentians have already leveraged this enhancement. Our goal is to serve our Vincentians well, as you serve our neighbors well.

As a reminder, the eligibility for these programs is as follows:

City of Cincinnati's Eviction Prevention Initiative (EPI)
Neighbors must live in the City of Cincinnati and have formal notice of eviction proceedings to be eligible for EPI.
Temporary Aid for Needy Families (TANF)
This program, through at least June 2022, will pay for up to four months' rent for neighbors who meet the following criteria:
  • At risk of homelessness
  • Hamilton County residents
  • US citizen or qualified non-citizen
  • Have custody of at least one minor child and/or at least six months pregnant
  • Have a household income that is below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (currently $53,000/year for a family of four)
Our Charitable Pharmacy's Emergency Assistance

Did you know? Nearly 25% of Americans report difficulty affording their prescription medications. Often, medication costs and medical debt are the root cause for food insecurity and housing instability. In response to this, our Charitable Pharmacy is excited to announce the expansion of its Emergency Voucher program. This program provides immediate access to free prescription medications for neighbors who do not have Ohio Medicaid benefits. Emergency medications will be provided along with an appointment for full certification for ongoing services within 30 days after their first medication pick-up. Additionally, neighbors can now access our Charitable Pharmacy’s on-site nurse practitioner for physical exams and laboratory tests. The next time you serve a neighbor in need, ask them this: “Are you able to afford your medical expenses?” If not, contact Dr. Rusty Curington at [email protected] for emergency access to our Charitable Pharmacy.
Act Now on Winter Coats

Neighbors from throughout Hamilton County who have not received a coat from us this season may come to our Neyer Outreach Center (NOC, 1146 Bank St) and request a coat voucher. Neighbors must bring their photo ID and an ID for all household members who will be receiving a coat (even if they’re not present). Limit of one coat per person.
Alternatively, if a neighbor approaches your Conference with a need for coats, you can email Erin Nowak at [email protected] with the name and DOB for all family members who would like a coat, as well as the address where the voucher should be mailed. This may be the Vincentian’s address, in which case the Vincentian would then give the neighbor the voucher, or the neighbor’s address. These winter coat vouchers issued anytime during February will expire on March 1 - this coming Tuesday. Vouchers can be redeemed for a coat at any of our SVDP thrift stores.
Three Thoughts from our Thrift Stores

  • Each of our thrift stores is currently hiring; our Mason store has particular need. Positions available include cashiers & floor associates. Do you have a neighbor seeking an employment opportunity? Motivated candidates can apply on our SVDP Cincinnati website, About Us tab, under Employment Opportunities.
  • Do you have surplus furniture you'd like to donate? Our thrift stores are eager to coordinate a pick-up. Just call us @ 513.421.2273 (421-CARE) to make it happen. We are actively accepting in-kind donations of clothing & household goods at each of our store sites and our donation boxes located throughout Hamilton County.
  • Spring is just around the corner...which means Bundle Sunday high season is quickly approaching. Our thrift stores team stands ready to coordinate with your Conference for container drop-off & pick-up. To inquire about process - or schedule your Bundle Sunday event - please call Dee @ 513.421.2273.
University of Cincinnati - Blue Ash Hosts Community Dental Day

  • When: Next Friday, March 4, 2022, 8am-2pm (first come, first served)
  • Where: Dental Hygiene Clinic, 9555 Plainfield Rd, Blue Ash, OH 45236 (Metro Bus Route 4)
  • What: Choice of cleaning, filling, or extraction will be performed for those 18 years & older who are uninsured
  • For more info: Call 513.558.9589
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 this coming Wed, 3/2 (Ash Wednesday). 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.
Your CMS Momentum is Our CMS Momentum

  • If you are not yet utilizing CMS, now is your time to onboard with CMS
  • 35 Conferences have implemented CMS and are benefitting from its functionality
  • 8 Conferences have onboarded since June, 2021, including 1 in January
  • 7 more are in our active pipeline - our St Cecilia Conference is poised to implement on 3/1/2022!
  • This web-based version of CMS is user-friendly: quicker, more reliable, and supports multiple devices
  • You’ll enjoy improved turnaround on financial closing; quicker access to all neighbor data throughout our district; better reporting availability for your Conference meetings; and a secure location for all of your go-forward data for future reference
  • John Wessel, your Resource Analyst, has assembled great training and support resources to complement his personal commitment to your positive CMS experience; he's happy to join you for a CMS demo
  • Still not sure? Ask Tom Roberts or John Wessel for contact info of neighboring Conferences who have embraced CMS
Bottom-line: this tool helps you better engage and lift your neighbors. Make 2022 the year you join fellow Vincentians & Conferences and make this leap forward! 

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, use the word “member”, all lower case and without the quotation marks.
More Resources for our Conferences and Neighbors

Conference Assistance Fund (CAF)
We extended FY2022 Q1 (Oct 2021 - Dec 2021) total CAF assistance of $171,432, then $66,290 (on 153 approved applications) in Jan 2022.
Summary of our February activity (through Tues, 2/22):
  • You've submitted 95 applications
  • We've approved 108 applications, thereby trimming our applications in progress toward approval to 16
Our budgetary provisions are $60,000 per month through March. We are able to roll forward underextended provisions of less than $3,000 into February. 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.

Our Charitable Pharmacy is Still Providing COVID Vaccinations
This includes the Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID vaccine - as initial treatment or as a booster - for Ohio residents.
How do you or a neighbor get a vaccine from the Charitable Pharmacy?
  • We have both Pfizer and J&J vaccine available at our NOC & Western Hills locations on a walk-in basis at no charge.
  • All Ohio residents are eligible. There is no income requirement or expectation to certify for ongoing services.
  • Allow 30-45 minutes to complete paperwork, receive the vaccine, and be monitored by a pharmacist for any rare allergic reactions.
  • We will ask to see a photo ID and vaccine card documenting any previous vaccines. If anyone does not have this documentation, we will work with them to find other documentation options. 
Our Charitable Pharmacy staff is available to answer any questions.

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
Please submit your March bed voucher requests to Gabby at [email protected] by Sat, 3/5. We anticipate distributing our full monthly allotment; each Conference may request up to 5 beds. We will advise mid-month if there are additional beds available. As a reminder, all bed vouchers are now redeemed at the Clothing and Home Resource Center (CHRC) in our Liz Carter Center (LCC, 1125 Bank St).
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. Please note that these are available while supplies last, so please wait until you have confirmation from Gabby before telling the neighbor we’ll be able to assist them. We will provide the neighbor with a voucher that can be redeemed at our CHRC.

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. If you’re a Vincentian with computer knowledge you’d like to share, please reach out to Alec Jewell, Volunteer Manager, at [email protected]

Greater Cincinnati Water Works (GCWW)
GCWW kicked off a new Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program in December. This program provides funds for GCWW utility assistance for eligible tenants residing in the City of Cincinnati. The funds will pay 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).
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.
At this time, the delinquency/shutoff process will resume on April 1, 2022. 
  • Apply Today! Tenants residing in the City of Cincinnati can access the ERA Application at . Renters can also call 513.591.7700 to receive assistance from the call center to complete an application.
  • 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] .

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 
  • The HEAP Winter Crisis Program began on 11/1/2021
  • Find more info at
  • Soaring Winter Utilities Costs - Duke Energy has provided a series of toolkits to help their customers navigate. 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 huge 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 .
Note: The Hamilton County 513 Relief Bus (the Hamilton County Equity and Resources Mobile Tech Bus) will be available to neighbors at 1916 Central Parkway, outside the Ohio Means Jobs office, for these winter months. They are doing vaccinations there on Wednesdays and Thursdays, so these days could be busier. More info available here .

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 (2/24) and all 4 Thursdays in March. 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.
You Can Now Access Past Conference News and Notes

Previous 2022 editions of Conference News & Notes are available for your review on the Conference News & Notes page on our website. Visit this page directly at: . Please note visitors will be prompted to enter a password: member . This page can also be accessed through a link on our Members Support and Forms page: . Just scroll down and click on Conference News & Notes Archive.
Call to Prayer
When we feel resentment in our hearts,
Lord, give us the grace to forgive.
When we see the speck in our brother or sister’s eye,
Lord, give us the grace to see the plank in our own.
When we serve our poor brothers and sisters,
Lord, give us the grace to serve with love.