“I was in prison and you visited me”

Recently, The Chicago Society of St. Vincent de Paul and Kolbe House in Chicago, started working together to help those who are impacted by incarceration.

Kolbe House, Archdiocese of Chicago’s Department of Parish Vitality and Mission, serves individuals and families affected by the criminal justice system. Kolbe House is a sanctuary for those impacted by incarceration and through its work, seeks to promote restoration and reconciliation through outreach, support and accompaniment. The founding of Kolbe House seeks to follow the example of St. Maximilian Kolbe to love and hope in the midst of evil and despair. Through the ministry, the love of Christ is shared with the incarcerated and their families.

Lorraine Parisi, Director of Operations for The Society of St. Vincent de Paul along with volunteers set up the Giving Store at Kolbe House.

Together, Kolbe House and The Chicago Society of St. Vincent de Paul, work to further this mission and leverage the National Society of St. Vincent de Paul Immersion/Reentry Program. The National St. Vincent de Paul Society recently funded 100 Bibles for the incarcerated at Kolbe House. Using Kolbe House as a prototype, the focus of the partnership near term is on three main initiatives:

  • Clothing: We seek to provide clothing to those reentering society and their families via the SVdP Giving Store set up by the Chicago Council. Through the generous clothing and other donations from our communities, The Society of St. Vincent de Paul Chicago is able to stock the Giving Store. Former inmates and their families can select from among clothing, shoes and other items at no charge to them. We hope to soon have new underwear and socks available as well.
  • Food: We hope to soon have a food pantry to serve the Kolbe House to serve those facing reentry as well as their families.
  • Housing: We plan on providing resources for temporary housing for those reentering society.

Through these means of tangible assistance, we embrace those in need while we advocate for a just system and seek to create positive change.