I wrote a couple of years ago about the amazing work that the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County (headquartered here in Eugene) has done. They have 12 retail thrift shops that are well-organized and well-run; a used car sales lot; recycling and manufacturing shops that deal with difficult products, such as styrofoam, mattresses, and glass; emergency services for the needy, such as bus tokens, utility vouchers, or rent assistance; collaboration with other NGO to provide homeless services; and permanent, affordable housing.
It is housing that I wanted to focus on here. St. Vinny’s has built several apartment complexes, both stand-alone buildings and as part of their new construction of their retail shops—in all, over 1,000 units since 1988.
Lately, they have been in the news because they purchased another mobile home park. What they do with these is raise the quality of life in the parks by resurfacing streets, creating community centers, and providing mobile homes as another avenue of affordable housing for those in need.
I think they deserve a lot of credit for not only the hard work they have put into Lane County communities, but also the creative ways they have created jobs, helped the needy, and the raised the level of so many people’s lives. Terry McDonald is the executive director, and his leadership has been foundational.