About Us

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. A 15 bed emergency shelter was developed at 59-61 Wolcott St., in Bristol, CT. It was primarily funded by the State of Connecticut Department of Social Services and local fundraising. Work began to aid homeless men, women and children by providing them with a temporary place to stay while they worked toward becoming independent. In October of 1991 a second facility, the Elms Transitional Living Program (ETLP) was opened at 419 West St., in Bristol, CT. This facility was HUD and State of Connecticut Department of Social Services funded to offer single men an extended period of time, up to two years, to work on the barriers which kept them homeless.

In 1992, the Bristol Emergency Shelter and Housing Coalition, Inc. needed to have another organization assume and take over its’ work of aiding the homeless. It published a Request For Proposal from any interested organization to assume its’ operation of the Emergency Shelter and the Elms TLP. The Rev. Philip J. Cascia, President of the St. Vincent DePaul Society of Waterbury, Inc., realizing that the Bristol organization could benefit from the Waterbury SVDP experience and knowledge, answered the call to take over the Bristol Corporation. Bristol’s organization changed its’ corporate name to the St. Vincent DePaul Society of Bristol, Inc. and became closely affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church and the Archdiocese of Hartford. Father Cascia knew that the problem of poverty and homelessness could only be tackled successfully through the cooperation of the non-profit sector, the Federal Government, the State of Connecticut, the Church and the private and corporate sectors of society.

In 1995, the St. Vincent DePaul Society of Bristol, Inc., securing State of Connecticut Department of Social Service funds, purchased St. Ann’s convent, remodeled it and relocated the Homeless Shelter to 19 Jacobs St. in Bristol. It expanded the Shelter by 10 beds, to 25 beds at this time, to meet the increasing need. In 1999, with the acquisition of additional HUD funding, it opened the Women With Children Transitional Living Program in this same building. Today and every day of the year 25 men, women and children reside at the Homeless Shelter, 13 single men reside at the Elms Transitional Living Program, and 10 women with their children reside at the Women With Children Program. An average of 58 homeless people live at the St. Vincent DePaul Mission of Bristol every day. They work on overcoming their barriers to independent living. They receive case management, counseling, meals, residential services, and referral to all services and programs that may benefit their circumstances.

On January 16, 2007 the Chairman of St. Vincent DePaul Mission, Rev. Philip J. Cascia, D. Min. died after a six month battle with Burketts Lymphoma. Father Cascia was born in Enfield, Connecticut to Charles and Rose Cascia on December 27, 1951. He leaves one brother Michael, two nieces and two nephews. His presence is deeply missed not only by his family, the Staff and Board of Directors, but also by the poor and hungry who looked to him for hope.

Father Cascia is succeeded by Rev. Joseph V. DiSciacca, the Pastor at St. Joseph R. C. Church, Bristol, CT as Chairman of the Board of Directors.

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. Now an official Catholic Charity supported by the Archdiocese of Hartford, SVDP continues to work toward ending homelessness in the Bristol area. The St. Vincent DePaul Mission is funded by grants from the State of Connecticut, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Archbishop's Annual Appeal, The United Way of West Central CT, the City of Bristol, Foundations and Public Donations. The major portions of donations come from individual people who live in the Bristol Area.