homeless shelter in bristol, ct
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The St. Vincent DePaul Mission of Bristol, Inc.
The St. Vincent DePaul Mission of Bristol, Inc. (SVDP), a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization, was originally founded in 1984 as the Bristol Emergency Shelter and Housing Coalition as a 15 bed emergency shelter located at 59-61 Wolcott St., in Bristol, CT. It provided a temporary place for homeless men, women and children to stay while they worked toward becoming independent.
In 1992, the Bristol Emergency Shelter and Housing Coalition, Inc. sought an agency to assume the shelter work they were doing. Rev. Philip J. Cascia, President of the St. Vincent DePaul Society of Waterbury, Inc., realized that the Bristol organization could benefit from the Waterbury SVDP experience and knowledge. He answered the call to take over the Bristol Corporation, changed its’ corporate name to the St. Vincent DePaul Society of Bristol, Inc. and hired Executive Director Philip Lysiak to serve the homeless population in this location.
In 1995, the St. Vincent DePaul Society of Bristol, Inc. purchased St. Ann’s convent located at 19 Jacobs St. in Bristol. After renovations, they relocated the Homeless Shelter and expanded from 15 beds to 25 beds to meet the increasing need. In January 2007 the Chairman of St. Vincent DePaul Mission, Rev. Philip J. Cascia passed away after a six-month battle with Lymphoma. His presence is deeply missed by the poor and hungry who looked to him for hope.
In April 2007 the St. Vincent DePaul Society of Bristol, Inc. amended and restated its articles of incorporation to become The St. Vincent DePaul Mission of Bristol, Inc. SVDP has continued to work toward ending homelessness in the Bristol area.
Executive Director Philip Lysiak served SVDP for 29 years until his death in 2020. In June of that same year, SVDP welcomed new Executive Director Christine Thebarge. She joined the organization amidst Covid-19 and much needed updating. The most notable change was a renovation to several interior floors to shift our resident guests from congregate housing to individual rooms, additionally adding an outreach component to work with the unsheltered
and the changes continue.
One thing that has never changed is our work in serving the homeless population to overcome their barriers to independent living. They receive individualized and comprehensive case management, residential services, referral to all services and programs that may benefit their circumstances and tools necessary to overcome their housing challenges. The goal is to end the cycle of homelessness with grace, dignity and compassion.