Home Visits: The Society’s Outlook

“From the beginning of the Society, the central and most basic activity of Conferences has been the visitation of the needy in the home. This action is the clearest symbol of the Vincentian charism which dictates the highest respect for the dignity of the poor: the visitor becomes the guest and the person being helped is the master. It symbolizes the fact that Vincentians are to reach out to the needy, rather than requiring them to report to an outside service site....

“... Vincentians should never excuse themselves lightly or regularly from the tradition of home visitation. Even when assistance is given in an emergency from the parish or other service site, Vincentians should follow up with a home visit.” (Manual, p. 98)

Why do we visit?

  • To bring friendship
  • To experience what people in need experience on their own “turf”
  • To verify needs, obtain more information and provide an opportunity for the resident (and sometimes the Vincentian) to describe their concerns and express their feelings about them
  • To be Christ for one another
  • Just to be friendly

When do we visit?

  • Ideally, any time we are considering any type of assistance
  • Always when we are considering a store referral or utility assistance
  • For follow-up

Why do Vincentians visit in pairs?

  • This requirement is based on the fact that the Conference is a community, not a collection of individuals who "do their own thing."
  • Vincentians are committed to spiritual growth through interacting with one another, as well as with people in need. The Lord sent out His disciples “two by two.” (Manual, p.98)
  • “Two heads are better than one.”
  • One Vincentian can be more active in interviewing, the other in interacting with children or observing aspects of the overall situation.
  • Safety concerns
  • Helps avoid possible gossip or accusations.