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Restoring Hope Community Breakfast Recap 2023

Relive the best moments from the breakfast

On a cool November morning, a lively hum of laughter and connection radiated out of the ballroom at the Arizona Biltmore. It was that special time of year where the St. Vincent de Paul family came together for its Restoring Hope Community Breakfast — a cherished annual tradition and fundraiser headed into the holidays.

This year’s theme centered on responding to the immense community need for housing stability — both for those living on the street and those in need of bill assistance to remain in the homes they already have. But beyond housing, speakers throughout the morning showed that finding home is also about the people and community with which you surround yourself and the relationship built with one another. 

Nearly 1,300 supporters gathered at the Arizona Biltmore to celebrate all the ways that SVdP is home for its guests, volunteers and donors who help guests find home at SVdP and in the community each day.

SVdP's Rob & Melani Walton Endowed CEO Shannon Clancy poses with SVdP Board President Shirley Smalley moments before the start of the breakfast.

"Together, we can build a community that we all want to be a part of," said Shannon Clancy, SVdP's Rob and Melanie endowed CEO. "Where everyone can thrive. Where love prevails."

Shannon shared the important work that SVdP is doing to help people find home through new shelter and rehousing efforts, such as the the success of its Housing 2025 initiative, which has already hit 61% of its goal to rehouse 2,025 people by the year 2025. 

Pete and Mary Ann Kneip, Andrea Allison and her daughter, Amiyah
Vincentian volunteers Pete and Mary Ann Kneip (at left) pose with Andrea Allison and her daughter, Amiyah, whom they helped with a move-in deposit and rent assistance to prevent their homelessness.

We were also able to hear about the millions of dollars SVdP has distributed to families to help prevent homelessness and keep families in their homes, avoiding the difficult cycle of eviction and homelessness. Andrea Allison who was on the receiving end of that life-saving service, shared her story.

Andrea received help from SVdP during a very difficult time in her life. She was a single mom, renting a room out of a house where many of the other roommates drank excessively, and she knew it wasn't a good place to raise her daughter, Amiyah. She got in touch with Vincentian volunteers Mary Ann and Pete Kneip, who were instantly drawn to Andrea.

"The follow-up phone call is what changed me," said Andrea, who found an apartment she could afford on her own but didn't have the upfront cash to move in. "When Mary Ann said that St. Vincent de Paul could pay my deposit and [first month's] rent and help with some furniture." 

Doc Snyder speaking at Restoring Hope 2023
Dr. Ken Snyder, the Executive Dental Director at SVdP, shared three stories of hope and lives changed at SVdP's Delta Dental of Arizona Oral Health Center.

Dr. Ken Snyder illustrated the critical health care gaps that the Virginia G. Piper Medical and Dental Clinics, in partnership with Creighton University, provide for the community. These clinics serve as a medical home for the uninsured population in Arizona. The crowd got to learn of three former patients who have beaten the odds thanks to the support at SVdP and have either become or will soon become dentists themselves.

Former Ozanam Manor resident, now kitchen volunteer, Sylvan McKenzie receives a round of applause from the crowd inspired by his rehousing success and overcoming cancer.
Former Ozanam Manor resident, now kitchen volunteer, Sylvan McKenzie receives a round of applause from the crowd inspired by his rehousing success and overcoming cancer.

And last, but certainly not least, is the home found in the SVdP family, who was there for Sylvan McKenzie and so many others who don’t have a family or support system in times of crisis. SVdP provided shelter to him when he had to move into his van after he lost his home. Thanks to the teamwork of several SVdP programs, the nonprofit was able to help him find his own place. Now, he's living on his own and thriving with his new friends at SVdP.

Restoring Hope breakfast 2023
The morning was filled with moving moments that inspired standing ovations for guests who shared their stories.

As quickly as the morning started, it came to an end, leaving the SVdP family of supporters inspired and filled with hope thanks to all the everyday miracles SVdP and the community make possible.

Restore Hope Through Faith and Love

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