After three years of planning and construction, St. Vincent de Paul officially opened its Don and Phyllis Neyer Outreach Center with a ceremonial ribbon cutting on Friday, Nov. 8, at 10:30 a.m. The opening ushered in a new era of service for the neighbors who visit St. Vincent de Paul each year seeking assistance.
The 36,000-square-foot facility includes an expanded food pantry and charitable pharmacy, as well as a larger homelessness prevention services area, chapel, health clinic, call center and Conferences assistance area. It also includes a new teaching kitchen to help educate neighbors on the importance of healthy nutrition, as well as an education center that provides access to computers so neighbors can learn new skills and search for jobs.
“St. Vincent de Paul operated out of our old building since 1962 and outgrew its capacity,” says Mike Dunn, executive director of St. Vincent de Paul – Cincinnati. “Our ability to serve our neighbors was hampered by the limitations of our physical space. With the opening of the Don and Phyllis Neyer Outreach Center, we can now better meet their needs by expanding access to our services, both now and in the future.”
Almost all services provided by St. Vincent de Paul are now available six days a week in the Center. In the past, the food pantry and charitable pharmacy couldn’t be open at the same time during the week because of space constraints.
“The new Center is truly for our neighbors,” says Becky Catino, co-chair of the Upward Spiral Comprehensive Campaign, which provided funding for the $7 million Center. “Our goals are to provide the most dignified experience possible for families and provide better access to our emergency services like our Charitable Pharmacy, food, clothing, furniture, as well as help with rent and utility payments. The new Don and Phyllis Neyer Outreach Center allows us to meet those goals.”
“St. Vincent de Paul is a beacon of hope for those in our community,” adds Bart Kohler, co-chair of the Upward Spiral Comprehensive Campaign and St. Vincent de Paul volunteer. “With the opening of the new Center, we can ensure more of our neighbors find the help and hope they need to move upward.”
Construction on the facility began in Fall 2018 at the northwest corner of Bank Street and Winchell Avenue in the West End, adjacent to Interstate 75. It is across the street from the Liz Carter Outreach Center, which was St. Vincent de Paul home for the last 57 years. That building is being refreshed and will remain the location of the organization’s administrative offices and the Ozanam Center for Service Learning, which provides retreats, conferences and other educational events.
In addition to the construction of the new Center, St. Vincent de Paul’s comprehensive campaign raised an additional $5 million for its Conference Assistance Fund. St. Vincent de Paul has 56 parish-based Conferences that provide a wide variety of assistance directly to neighbors in those parish neighborhoods.
“A lot of folks are surprised to learn there is great need in suburban communities as well,” says Dunn. “The Conference Assistance Fund provides a lot of help to families across Hamilton County.”
The West End outreach center is named after community leader and businessman Don Neyer and his late wife, Phyllis.