Conference News and Notes
for Wednesday, January 26, 2022
Sent to all Vincentians & Staff
Vincentian Reflection for the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Sunday, January 30, 2022

Gospel: (Luke 4:21-30) Jesus began speaking in the synagogue…and all were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They also asked, “Isn’t this the son of Joseph?" He said to them, “Surely you will quote me this proverb, ‘Physician heal yourself.’ And say ‘Do here in your native place the things that we heard were done in Capernaum.’” And he said, “Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place.” When the people heard all that he was saying, they were filled with fury. They rose up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, to hurl him down headlong. But Jesus passed through the midst of them and went away.

Reflection: As the crowds doubted who Jesus was because of his simple origins, so will others doubt who we are if we courageously live the gospel. No matter what simple origins we might have, our living the gospel is what must shape our everyday choices. This means, for example, that if the chatter around the coffee machine at work grows uncharitable or coarse, we have the courage to walk away. If prejudice exists among our friends and acquaintances, we have the courage to extol the dignity of the minority. We are called to place gospel values before any other values and to be willing to put our lives on the line for them. (Living Liturgy, p.50)

Vincentian Meditation: St. Vincent was also from “simple origins” but he also had a striking belief in the power of the gospel. He told us that, “Each one must strive, above all else, to ground himself in this truth: the teaching of Christ can never deceive, while that of the world is always false, since Christ himself declares that the latter is like a house built on sand, whereas he compares his own to a building founded upon a solid rock.” For this reason we must always make claim to act according to the maxims of Christ, never according to those of the world. (Maloney, Go! On the Missionary Spirituality of St. Vincent de Paul, p. 150)

How does your living of the gospel shape your everyday choices?
Formation Opportunities & Events

February's First Friday Fellowship
We'll be hosting a virtual Black History Month Celebration, next Fri, 2/4, noon - 1pm. Though we annually hold this event in-person as a potluck, we will be gathering over Zoom this year. If you are interested in reading a poem, singing a song, sharing a story, etc, please let us know. We would love to have at least 3-5 folks sharing themselves as part of our celebration. All are welcome to join even if they feel called to participate without sharing.
To RSVP or volunteer to share, please email [email protected] .
Link to join our Zoom on Fri, 2/4, @ noon:


Calling all Conference Spiritual Advisors
Our first round of Spiritual Advisors gatherings of 2022 is here - in fact, we are down to just 1 of the 4 remaining:
  • This Fri, 1/28, 8 - 9am, via Zoom
This is a wonderful opportunity to get to know your fellow SA’s and share challenges, triumphs, and ideas with each other. There will be a very loose agenda of prayer and reflection, citing of current Spirituality and Formation resources and events, and plenty of time for sharing.
If you have not yet joined us this round, please go to to sign up for this session if it works for you. And thanks to those of you who joined us for 1 of the 3 sessions offered these past 2 weeks.
Referring Neighbors for potential TANF and EPI Assistance

In response to your feedback, we are taking 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). You'll find more info on both of these publicly-funded assistance programs in the More Resources for our Conferences and Neighbors section below. Starting immediately, 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 were 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. Our goal is to serve our Vincentians well, as you serve our neighbors well.
Cooking Improv with La Soupe

The 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, with the first one scheduled for February 2, 11am-1pm. The demos will last 15-20 minutes and be presented continuously during this time frame. Each demonstration will be limited to seven participants. 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.
Archdiocese of Cincinnati Beacons of Light Initiative

We've rescheduled the meeting of our Conference Presidents, dedicated to Beacons of Light, from Sat morning, 2/12, to Sat morning, 3/19/2022, 9am - noon, site TBD. This is in recognition of the current increase in COVID cases and our strong preference to gather in-person to nurture relationship, especially within families of parishes. More info to come.

We encourage you to stay current on Beacons of Light developments at . Our Archdiocese is adding content more rapidly these days. Much opportunity ahead!
Our Resource Spotlight: Resources for Veterans

This past Monday, 1/24, we were pleased to host Chris Macklin, manager of Cincinnati's Easterseals Military & Veteran Services, who shared his own story of returning to civilian life, presented the many support programs Easterseals provides for Veterans, and fielded questions for 22 participants in this Zoom session. We learned that Easterseals is particularly engaged in assisting Veterans seeking employment, while also assisting Veterans navigating challenges ranging from homelessness to accessing Veterans' benefits to mental & physical wellbeing. Chris & Easterseals will gladly accept referrals from us.
Info at your fingertips: You can access recordings of our previous Resource Spotlights on our website's Members page. Just click on the "Learn More" tab under Member Support and Forms, password: member . This Resource Spotlight should be added in the coming week.
Suggestions for future Resource Spotlights? Please forward to Conferences Manager Margaret Rahn at [email protected] or 513.345.4983.
Hamilton County Links for COVID Information & Resources

For your ease, we relay the following links, as provided by Hamilton County:
COVID Vaccine & Booster Available Now in Our Charitable Pharmacy

Our Charitable Pharmacy is now able to provide 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 both 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 new addition of the Pfizer vaccine is particularly relevant because:
  • Anyone 12 years or older may receive the Pfizer vaccine as their primary 2-dose vaccination or as their single-dose booster.
  • Pfizer is the only COVID vaccine approved for minors. Minors must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian to sign a consent form.
  • This vaccine may be used as a booster 5 months after completing the initial 2-dose series.
  • The CDC has preferentially recommended the Pfizer vaccine as a booster over the J&J vaccine.
The J&J vaccine still has relevant applications: 
  • Anyone 18 year or older may receive this vaccine as their primary single dose vaccine. This vaccine is ideal for anyone who is required to be vaccinated before returning to work because they can be fully vaccinated in one dose.
Our Charitable Pharmacy staff is available to answer any questions.
Winter Coats Still Available

Neighbors from throughout Hamilton County who have not received a coat from us this season may now 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. Vouchers will expire 30 days after the issue date or on March 1 (whichever comes first). Vouchers can be redeemed for a coat at any of our SVDP thrift stores. 

Is your closet full, thanks to a bountiful Christmas? Got a coat that is only warming a hanger these days? Winter Coat Donations are still being accepted through this Sun, 1/30. More information about this year’s drive (including responses to some general FAQs) can be found here: . Alternatively, please reach out to Renee Berlon at [email protected] if your Conference has donated coats to share.
Our CMS Momentum

We, together, have expanded our count to 34 Conferences who have implemented CMS and are benefitting from its functionality. 9 Conferences have onboarded since June, 2021, including 2 in January, and 5 more are in our active pipeline. If you are not utilizing CMS currently, there is no better time than the present to onboard to CMS. The web-based version of CMS is a significant improvement from the previous desktop version. It is quicker, more reliable, and supports multiple devices. Additionally, you’ll see 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. There is also the capability to load some past neighbor data that you may wish to retain and have available to you. The feedback from Conferences who have onboarded since the arrival of the new version has been overwhelmingly positive. And John Wessel, your Resource Analyst, is here for you throughout.

Bottom-line: this tool helps our Vincentians better engage and lift our neighbors. Make 2022 the year you join fellow 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 $53,118 in CAF assistance in October; $64,678 in November; & $53,637 in December for an FY2022 Q1 total of $171,433; our comparable FY2021 Q1 total was $157,616.
Our January activity through Tues afternoon, 1/25:
  • You've submitted 114 fresh applications
  • We've approved 126 applications
  • We have 33 applications in process toward approval
Our budgetary provisions are $60,000 per month through March. We are able to roll forward underextended provisions to cover a monthly overage. January is shaping up to be a predictably active month. 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.
Margaret Rahn & our wonderful volunteers (now 13) are intently processing and approving applications...and Olivia Scheper is now contributing as well!
Our volunteers are a vital blessing. Please consider volunteering on-site at our Neyer Outreach Center to help us process CAF applications and to join in other forms of support of Conferences work. You can learn more by contacting Tom at [email protected] , Margaret at [email protected] , or Alec Jewell, Volunteer Manager, at [email protected]

Rahe Beds Fund & Program
February bed requests will be accepted from Tues, 2/1 to Sat, 2/5. We’re pleased to report that we’ll be able to issue our full, budgeted number of vouchers again this month. Please send requests to Gabby at [email protected]. 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]

City of Cincinnati's Eviction Prevention Initiative (EPI)
We are actively accepting and processing applications for this assistance from eligible City of Cincinnati residents in Conference footprints. Our neighbor must have formal notice of eviction proceedings to be eligible for EPI.

Temporary Aid for Needy Families (TANF)
Our Social Services team is extending rental assistance through this TANF (Temporary Aid for Needy Families) program. This program, through at least June 2022, will pay for up to four months' rent for neighbors who meet the following criteria:
  • Hamilton County residents
  • US citizen or qualified non-citizen
  • Has custody of at least one minor child and/or at least six months pregnant
  • At risk of homelessness
  • Have a household income that is below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (currently $53,000/year for a family of four)
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 Vision Clinic in our Neyer Outreach Center
The Vision Clinic operates by appointment on certain Thursdays as designated by CEIF. Great news! Our Vision Clinic is open, 8:30am - 3pm, tomorrow (Thurs, 1/27) and all 4 Thursdays in February. 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.
Monitoring & Responding to the Current Surge in COVID Cases

Our community and nation have been experiencing a strong uptick in COVID cases, fueled by the highly-contagious Omicron variant. We are staying current on CDC guidance and taking responsive measures here at our NOC & LCC, while continuing to serve our neighbors. We encourage your Conference and you to determine your own potential adjustments to operational activities as we navigate this together. The good news: our collective precautionary efforts appear to be gaining traction. Evidence supports the value of current COVID vaccination status to mitigate risk.
You Can Now Access Past Conference News and Notes

There is now a Conference News & Notes page on our website, where past editions of Conference News & Notes will be available for your review.
You can 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.
Thanks to our External Relations team for creating this ready resource...and for all of their progress on our website!
Call to Prayer
We pray for the grace to proclaim the gospel in our lives:
May we live the values that Jesus taught.
We pray that our words and actions bear witness to Christ,
May we live the values that Jesus taught.
We pray that we may bring hope and healing to the sick and suffering.
May we live the values that Jesus taught.