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Power of People Fact Sheet and Demands

No Room for the Poor in SVDP Store

Tale of Two SVDP Thrift Stores

Milwaukee Society of St. Vincent de Paul Past and Present

The Way of Milwaukee Society of St. Vincent de Paul the first 100 years compared to the Society in Milwaukee which has lost its way.

Cry of the Poor to St Vincent de Paul Milwaukee

Letter to Milwaukee Director on Corrected information
Documents Related to Reform in Milwaukee

Open Letter to 54 President’s Council of St. Vincent De Paul Society

February 2014

Dear Presidents,

Shortly before I made a recent journey to Guatemala to be in solidarity with the Mayan people, I read in the SVDP National Frédéric’s E-Gazette that St Vincent de Paul Society of Milwaukee wants to open a 35,000-square-foot thrift shop at 4500 S. 108th St. Now, I have heard that on March 5, 2014 the ‘Council’ voted to purchase the former Wal-Mart store. I am not sure who the ‘council’ is but if there is any way you can reconsider this purchase I ask you to do so. Here is why!

I was shocked but not surprised to hear about the new store in Greenfield. There had been rumors about such a move for over a year but I was shocked that a major decision was made before it could publicly be discussed by members of the Society and the people we serve. This major decision affects our mission of “women and men to join together to grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service to those who are needy and suffering.”
I was one of the co-founders of a St. Vincent De Paul conference at a church in Madison in 1992. Madison has less poor than Milwaukee. At the time, what we call here “central staff” consisted of one full time Executive Director who was also store manager and one part time person to take calls for home visits and distribute them to conferences. There was one store on the near North side, a poor area, to serve the conferences. We were limited in what we could write up with vouchers; but, the full cost of the voucher was covered completely by the profits of the store. When I left Madison in 1995 to take a position with SVDP in Milwaukee there were three stores, another one near the other poor area in Madison, South Madison, and one in the small working person town of Stoughton, WI. There was one more central office staff member for the stores. There are now more stores; but the purpose of the stores in Madison are to support financially, and with resources, the home visits of conferences.

In 1995 I accepted a job as assistant General Manager for the three SVDP’s in Milwaukee. The executive director of SVDP at the time asked me to find out why the stores were losing money. After about six months working at each position in the three stores, I compiled my report. I concluded the major problem was a structural one in the Society in Milwaukee. SVDP in Milwaukee, unlike SVDP in Madison, was focused on building a central office, an agency, not focused on serving the needy of the conferences. SVDP, during this time, purchased St. Gall’s as an agency service center, had hired more social workers and was more and more becoming an agency. It was not what I experienced in Madison and my study of SVDP which included a trip to world headquarters in Paris. This is not what the Executive Director wanted to hear and I was fired; or, as it was called at the time, ‘permanently laid off’. At the same time the central office was firing or laying off store employees and often replacing them with W-2 workers which they did not have to pay. The reforms we started in 1995 at the stores, and with the closing of two stores, have made the, now, one store profitable; but it relies on money from conferences and not supporting conferences.

The only budgets available from the Central Office were the very general five “approved budgets” controlled by the central office. Although the five ‘approved budgets’, controlled by Central office, are for over 2 million dollars, less than 1% is used for direct services, the other 99% going for compensation and operating expenses. The store budget income includes income from the conferences, which unlike Madison, pays from 50% to 100% of the store price for donated or purchased items. The last available IRS 990 pubic tax filing available is for 2011 and shows that $222, 234 of compensation was spent on two central staff positions, Executive Director (past and present) and Finance Director.

The proposed new store is located in an area, unreachable by W-2 workers, near an already established thrift store and will draw valuable donations and monies away from the South side store, from other conferences, and most importantly the people we serve. It will cost us, Vincentians making home visits and the needy of Milwaukee, more than it could produce. If you ask the people we serve, where they would like to see a store they would clearly say the North side of Milwaukee, where a store would not only be profitable, as the other for profit thrift stores are in the area; but, more importantly, could serve the mission of the Society, home visits.

The Goodwill Store in West Allis is a good example of a store serving the mission. It is a smaller store than the present or future SVDP store but the clothing is of better quality, marked for size and offers a fresh and wide variety. Also the proceeds from the Goodwill store go to pay the workers a decent wage and for the mission of the store: training people with disabilities for jobs. Only a very small portion goes to the Central Office, not 99% like in the SVDP central office budgets, including the store.

In 1995 we saw a structural change of the Society in Milwaukee, centralizing power and money in the Central office and not in the conferences and people we serve. This large acquisition would, I believe, be more disastrous than the purchase of St. Gall’s in 1995 and further remove the Society from its main mission.
In Madison there is a good meal program associated with the Society; but independent. There is a St. Vincent De Paul group home for persons with mental illnesses, separately financed and operated. There are now a number of SVDP thrift stores whose main object is to serve the conferences and people we visit and not to increase the Central office revenues.

I am updating the three essays I wrote a few years ago called Catholic Churches in North Central Milwaukee, the third one called St. Vincent De Paul Stalled. The essays are about segregation, poverty and criminalization or, some would say, ‘racism’ of The Catholic Church in North Central Milwaukee.

Building a St. Vincent De Paul in Greenfield, I believe, would contribute to the poverty and marginalization of the already segregated and criminalized neighborhoods of the South and North side. Also, it would be, in my opinion, a serious violation of our main mission to serve those in need with personalized home visits. Please reconsider!

Bob Graf

Ten Reasons for Creating a New Store for Society of St. Vincent De Paul on the North Side of Milwaukee rather than in the suburbs in Greenfield.

1.To fulfill the mission of St.Vincent De Paul Thrift Stores

St. Vincent De Paul Thrift Stores throughout the United States are mutually formed in an association of lay employees and volunteers dedicated to serving our needy sisters and brothers. All who come to our Stores are welcomed with dignity and respect. Our hope is they leave as friends and return to shop with us again. Those who cannot afford the clothing, furniture and other household items are provided them through a Vincentian referral system. (For more see Society of St. Vincent de Paul STORE OPERATIONS MANUAL Mission Statement p.5)

2. Better return on investment.
The present SVDP on Lincoln has low overhead, employs about 10 persons and has W-2 workers who work in the store, sorting clothes etc, at no cost to the Society. The new store will have high overhead, will need to employ more persons and will not be accessible for W-2 Workers. A new store on the North side of Milwaukee would have low overhead and employ local persons and possibly could have W-2 workers.

The present store, which according to the 2013–2014 approved budget, (below) is the one of the five two million plus central office budgets to show a profit. Store income on a store on the North side, as it is now on South side, would be from sales of merchandise, conference payments for vouchers and sale of ‘rags’ to vendors. Store income from store in Greenfield would mainly be from store sales, since the location is too far from people in need who call SVDP, mostly on north side. The present SVDP store budget, again, according to Central Office “approved budget” has compensation of over 50% of total income. The number would be significantly higher for store in Greenfield and perhaps lower for store on North side.

3. A SVDP store in the North side of Milwaukee would face less competition from other thrift stores than one in Greenfield.
According to the online Yellow Pages there are many major 9Thrift Stores in the near vicinity of the proposed site in Greenfield, including a highly rated and established “USA Family Thrift Store only two blocks away. This store is ‘for profit’ but there are other major nonprofit Thrift stores in the area like Goodwill and Salvation Army stores. Whereas in North Central Milwaukee, the most needy area of the city, there is only one major thrift store, Value Village at 324 W. North Ave., part of a National Chain of for profit thrift stores.

4. SVDP is here to serve the poor, needy and marginalized.

North Central Milwaukee is the most segregated, poorest, criminalized neighborhood in the Greater Milwaukee Metro area. Greenfield and surround area is on the other side of this equation. See M.A.P.S to compare neighborhoods. If the Mission of the Society of St. Vincent De Paul is to offer person to person service to the poorest, segregated, marginalized, criminalized people in the area, with the highest rate of unemployment there is no choice between North Central Milwaukee and Greenfield to locate a new SVDP store.

Here is what the Society of St. Vincent De Paul in Chicago says about its Thrift shop:

“The St. Vincent de Paul thrift stores offer a low-cost, high quality shopping experience for bargain shoppers, as well as those with limited means. Each of the stores honor emergency vouchers, allowing clients to get free clothing, house wares, and furniture. Funds raised through the stores stay in the local community allowing the sponsoring Conference to pay rent, utilities, and buy food for our friends in need who come to them for help.”

5) The Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Milwaukee County is already heavily invested with its resources in real estate.

Another major investment, like a store in the suburb of Greenfield would further draw resources from the main mission of the Society. Also See Below

The Society already owns four properties, of which only the Lincoln store generates revenue. The SVDP properties on Martin Luther King Dr. soon will be empty and not used by Society. Major repairs, a new roof and tuck pointing have been done on this building for the south side meal site. However major repairs, like replacing all the windows are still needed before the building can obtain the needed permits to lease space to cover some of the building’s expenses. The expensive building, on 92nd and Silver Spring is for the large central office staff that has five budgets covering over 2 million dollars where less than 1% goes to direct mission of the Society, home visits of conferences. A purchase or long term lease of an expensive property in Greenfield will only add to the real estate investments of the Society of St. Vincent De Paul. A purchase or lease of a building in North Central Milwaukee for an office and thrift store will instantly have a major return on investment and instantly generate revenues from store profits and the sale of present central office building on a desire real estate site for the mission of the Society.

6) “Serving Christ’s needy is the primary goal of all St. Vincent DePaul Stores.” (Society of St. Vincent De Paul Store Manuel, Mission Statement, p. 5). The mission of the store is Not to make a profit as “a way to provide my conference with more funds with which to make visits.” (V.P. of SVDP Council statement.)

7.With the competition to collect clothes, furniture and other items for profit and non-profit store the ability to collect clothes for a North side store, where the mission of SVDP compels us to be as well as the South side store and new Greenfield store will be limited.

For-profit stores like Value Village using the names of nonprofit operations like Easter Seal or Veteran groups to collect clothes and other items, giving a percentage of profits to non-profits. Non-profit corporations like Salvation Army or Goodwill raise money for fulfill their mission. With all the Thrift stores, profit and non-profit the Society of St. Vincent De Paul would be very limited in what it could collect of slightly used clothing and thus limit what is available for the present South Side store or a possible North side store which would fulfill the mission of SVDP stores “serving Christ’s needy”.

8) There was no participation from the people we serve in the conferences in our mission or from many Vicentians to make this large investment in the suburbs rather than a smaller investment in North Central Milwaukee.

The first notice that SVDP Society was in process of building a store in Greenfield, I received, was in the Feb. 13, 2013 which carried a Journal Sentinel article of Feb. 7th which stated that the permit for store already had been already applied for. I attended almost every meeting of the St. Catherine or St. Benedict SVDP conferences and have heard anything, but rumor of a new store in the suburbs. I have agendas from the meeting I have not attended the last few years and there is no mention of a SVDP store in suburbs. Members that I know have not been invited to any meeting to discuss the location of a new SVDP store. The secrecy and lack of transparency of SVDP and central office is not in the spirit of SVDP. Actual budgets are not made available to members and simple questions, like has the Society purchased the building why does the Central office continue to use and outdated computer system to assign home visits when an more efficient GPS had been offered go unanswered or are ignored.

9) The St. Vincent De Paul Society was created to do the corporal “works of mercy” as outline in Matthew 25 while working to “ending poverty through systematic change.

A store and central office on the North Side of Milwaukee, the most segregated and poorest area of Milwaukee rather than a store in the white suburbs would be a step forward.

“Yours must be a work of love, of kindness; you must give your time, your talents, yourselves. The poor person is a unique person of God’s fashioning with an inalienable right to respect. You must not be content with tiding the poor over the poverty crisis; you must study their condition and the injustices which brought about such poverty, with the aim of a long term improvement.” Blessed Frederic Ozanam

10) A store on the North Side would serve the needs of the conferences that make the majority of home visits to those in need and were all but one of the needy conferences are located.

The Society of St. Vincent De Paul in Milwaukee is already top heavy with only 1% of the 2 million dollar for five central office budgets going for direct services like vouchers for home visits to the poor. (From Central Office Five approved budgets for 2013–2014). Of the entire income reported on the 990 IRS tax form (see below) for 2011 only about 50% of income went for the mission of the Society to serve those in need with person to person visits. That 50% was raised and spent by conferences and includes money that went back into Central Office store budget as payment for vouchers.

The mission of the store is to serve the conferences and the people they serve. A store in the North side would serve this mission. A SVDP store in Greenfield would be costly and would add to the burden of conference and take from those most in need.

The Mission of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul

“Inspired by Gospel values, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, a Catholic lay organization, leads women and men to join together to grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service to those who are needy and suffering in the tradition of its founder, Blessed Frédéric Ozanam, and patron, St. Vincent de Paul.

As a reflection of the whole family of God, members, who are known as Vincentians, are drawn from every ethnic and cultural background, age group, and economic level. Vincentians are united in an international society of charity by their spirit of poverty, humility and sharing, which is nourished by prayer and reflection, mutually supportive gatherings and adherence to a basic Rule.
Organized locally, Vincentians witness God’s love by embracing all works of charity and justice. The Society collaborates with other people of good will in relieving need and addressing its causes, making no distinction in those served because, in them, Vincentians see the face of Christ.”

Mission Statement of a St. Vincent De Paul Thrift Stores

St. Vincent DePaul Thrift Stores throughout the United States are mutually formed in an association of lay employees and volunteers dedicated to serving our needy sisters and brothers. All who come to our Stores are welcomed with dignity and respect. Our hope is they leave as friends and return to shop with us again. Those who cannot afford the clothing, furniture and other household items are provided them through a Vincentian referral system.

Customers, employees and volunteers are treated equally without regard to race, color, creed, age, sex or national origin. All, including the disadvantaged, handicapped and persons with special needs, are employed so that we may all benefit from the talents and abilities of everyone seeking employment.

Serving Christ’s needy is the primary goal of all St. Vincent De Paul Stores. In this ministry, we pledge to use sound business practices. Surplus funds will be dedicated to the support of Parish Conferences and charitable causes of the Society approved by our Councils and Boards of Directors.

“You are the servant of the poor . . . . They are your masters, and the more difficult they will be, the more unjust and insulting, the more love you must give them. It is your love alone that the poor will forgive you the bread you will give them. “
St. Vincent de Paul, 1581–1660

2011 990 IRS Form

Lessons Learned from City of Greenfield Public Hearing on Special Use Permit for SVDP Store

Dear Vincentians,

There was a public hearing Wednesday, April 2, at the City of Greenfield City Hall on granting a special-use permit for a St. Vincent De Paul store at the former Wal-Mart building in the City of Greenfield. For reasons of financial liability, the vote was 3–2 against issuing the special-use permit. There were Vincentians on both sides of the issue of this special-use permit. For me, the hearing had several lessons to be learned:

1)In my opinion, we need to radically restructure the Society of St. Vincent De Paul in Milwaukee to align it with our mission. If we are to “end poverty through systematic change” we need to start with ourselves. Lesson #1. More to come on this subject; if interested, let us know.

2)The real estate developer represented SVDP and argued the case for a special-use permit. He claimed the purpose of the store was to raise money to be given to conferences for funding work in the city with home visits. How would the suburban store ever be profitable with a 2.5 million dollar initial investment, plus payments to City of Greenfield in lieu of property tax and the heavy operating cost of the suburban store? However, if the proposed store in Greenfield could be profitable, its existence would be a violation of the principles, rules and spirituality of the Society of St. Vincent De Paul. Unlike other thrift stores, that exist for the profit of owners or to raise money for some non-profit’s mission, SVDP thrift stores are only meant to exist to serve the needs of the poor to buy inexpensive clothing, household items and furniture; and, to be of service to conferences for home visits. If a SVDP center makes a profit, which some claim our present store does, the money should be used for the greater mission of the SVDP, person to person service to those in need. SVDP stores do not exist to raise money for the poor as the Real Estate Developer suggested to the City of Greenfield. (See Mission Statement of SVDP and Society of St. Vincent De Paul Store Manuel, Mission Statement, p. 5). That is Lesson 2.

3)Another reason for the store was to have a place to drop off clothing. Residents of the suburbs and even some Vincentians fail to realize that we have trucks for pick up of clothing and household items. Other thrift stores, especially for-profit stores, constantly call to solicit items for pick up, using their names, such as Easter Seals, Disabled Veterans, etc. The for-profit stores give a small percentage of earnings to the charity. The non-profit, like Goodwill, use it for their mission of work training. By soliciting donations for direct personal service to the poor in our store and by our home visits, we can do the same, perhaps even better, with the large network of Catholic Churches. Donations of items could be tremendously increased. Lesson 3.

4)I realize that people drop off clothing and other items at the thrift stores that they shop at. Whenever I go to the Goodwill store on 108th street, I bring some used clothing or other small items. I am met by a couple of workers who take the donations from my car into the store. I do not like to shop in normal stores so I shop at Goodwill. The store is smaller than our south-side store but always has a variety of clothing that is marked for size and can be tried on easily. People drive by Lincoln and Forest Home or another centrally located store on the North side, and if they feel comfortable shopping there, would also drop off clothing and other items. In fact, there are many major thrift stores near Greenfield; but, there is only one major store, Value Village, a for-profit national chain, on the North Side. Poor people are very generous with the little they have and would support a store doing the mission of SVDP. Lesson #4.

There are probably other lessons to be learned from the City of Greenfield public hearing. Let us perceive and learn from these lessons; and, restructure our SVDP Society in Milwaukee to more effectively serve those in need.

From Dialog to Nonviolent Action

Letter to Executive Board and Executive Directors,

Dear Executive Board of SVDP Milwaukee and Executive Directors,

I asked all of you for an open dialog to discuss and reconsider the 3.2 million dollar investment in a SVDP Thrift store in the suburb of Greenfield. Only one of you responded saying No to this dialog and two when I asked by phone said no. Thank you to the three who recognized my concern and existence. In the spirit of St. Ignatius of Loyola I probably should thank the rest of you and the staff for treating me like a poor person, ignored and marginalized.

Since I first knew about the potential purchase of a thrift store in Greenfield I have learned a lot about SVDP in Milwaukee and how it is structured. After the Greenfield city council meeting I learned that the proposal was to borrow 3.2 million dollars to invest in building, grounds, renovations, facilities for a trail to Little League baseball team and more. Those who have responded say it a good move to raise money for the poor and of “sound businesses practices”. Yet, I understand that few if any have seen the ‘business plan’ that could demonstrate this statement. The mission of the store to directly serve Christ poor by making clothing, furniture and other items available for sale and for vouchers for conference is open to interpretation to mean to taking a risk that profit making store serving people in suburbs would make a profit for poor, isolated in segregated areas. I learned that the person who says he represents the SVDP proposed store is not a Vincentian, has little or no understanding of the Rule of SVDP society and is a principal in a firm that has questionable business practices according to Court records. The new manager of present store admitted, after being hired, she knew about retail store but little, if anything about the mission of SVDP.

Recently I have learned that the $100, 000 dollars given to SVDP based on a proposal by Deborah Dusky has not met any of the promises by Ms. Dusky on which the gift, money from closing and sale of Blessed Trinity, was given. Ms. Dusky proposal was for the $100, 000 to go directly to the seven needy conferences to meet the needs of individuals and families “to meet the very essential needs of food, clothing, new beds, furniture and appliances.” The seven needy conferences have received no money from Central Office to meet these “essential needs.” In February a store credit of $400-$800 was give to each of the needy conferences. Store credit idea was rejected by St. Catherine parish council, not mentioned by Ms. Dusky in needy conference proposal and does not allow conferences to give vouchers for food or appliances. There have been no payments or store credits since this first one, although one of the needy conferences, has a $36 balance at this time.

I learned that SVDP Milwaukee has a multi-million dollar trust fund that makes investment in business that may not meet Catholic value system of consistent life ethic.

Besides not serving Christ’s poor directly with SVDP funds I learned that over 99% of the central office budgets are spend on compensation and operating expenses which includes money paid to central office for vouchers given by conferences. Thrift Stores are meant to serve conferences not the other way around where conferences main expense is to pay 50% to 100% of retail price of donated items to store.

I have learned that the Central Staff and a few members run SVDP with little or no transparency to members of the Society or those we serve. I could go on but what is the point. Research, facts, questions mean little or nothing to this top down organization. The trickledown theory does not work with Capitalism and certainly does not work with a Society inspired by Gospel and Works of Mercy. Jesus, Blessed Frederic and St. Vincent De Paul did not say “clothe those in need” by going to rich and selling them used clothing inexpensively and give the money, if any, to the poor and those who serve them.

If we cannot dialog or discuss the SVDP move to invest 3.2 million dollars, (25,600 appliance vouchers for appliances), in store in suburbs, when the major needs of poor exist in North Central Milwaukee is morally wrong. If dialog is not possible than we need to take direct nonviolent action to act out the Gospel although it might mean insults, shame or more marginalization. Your intentions might be good but your actions are harmful for the very people you claim to serve and by this action dismiss and ignore.

Have you done the deed in secrecy? If yes or no, in conscience, we must resist nonviolently and struggle for the truth even if it means conflict and punishment.

With Gratitude and Hope,
Bob Graf

Legal but Wrong!

“Let anyone with ears to hear listen!” Mark 4:8–10

Dear Board of Director of SVDP

When I accused your actions of being wrong, immoral, not in the spirit of subsidiary, not making business sense, not in favor of the mission of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul or furthering segregation, I am not saying you actions or that of staff are illegal. They are legal, as far as I know, but in light of the mission of the Society and social teaching of the Catholic Church they are, in my opinion, wrong. All the statements I make may be opinion but they are based on facts that I can back up. I believe if the President’s SVDP council was these facts they would reverse their decision for 3.2 million loan and investment in Greenfield and change the way SVDP in Milwaukee is structured. Since no one will second Marvin’s motion for this it cannot happen. For example,

It is legal for SVDP in Milwaukee, cash poor, to loan 3.2 million dollars to build a thrift store in almost all white suburb, a store with high operating cost, (30–50 staff according to SVDP rep. See attached City of Greenfield minuets from Public hearing) rather than build a thrift store in North Central Milwaukee, most segregated (African American) and poorest neighborhood, for little or no cost, by selling office on edge of Milwaukee and moving in store/office space or alternative. The action, in my opinion makes no business sense, is against the preferential option for the poor, mission of St. Vincent de Paul and in Catholic Social Teaching is immoral. It is legal but wrong.

It is legal for the staff to present executive board to approve and President Council to agree on a SVDP 2013–2014 five projected budgets controlled by central office of 1,717,162 with only 113,000 (.6%) going to direct service to people in need and rest 94% going to administrative cost of compensation, operating cost and depreciation. It is against the spirit of the Society and its mission. It is legal but wrong. (See attached approved budget providing by central office staff.)

It is legal for Central staff to censor from SVDP president council all concerns about the 3.2 million dollar proposal and not allow presentation of any opposing views. However, it violates all rules of subsidiary. It is illegal but wrong.

It is legal for St. Vincent de Paul Store representative, real estate developer not a Vincentian, to say at a public hearing in City of Greenfield for permit to say the store in Greenfield is “designed to make a profit to fund the mission” not to serve the needy directly. However, this is against the very purpose of Mission of a St. Vincent Store which is to directly “serve Christ poor”. This statement of store to make profit for mission not to serve mission is repeated over and over again. We do not, like Goodwill, operate stores to make money for mission but to serve mission. It is legal but wrong.

It is legal for the Executive Director without knowledge of Board of Directors to call the thrift store manager, an African American employee of nearly 25 years on sick leave and tell her she was fired since the “store is going in new direction” and immediately hired a white store manager with no Vincentian background. It might be legal but not the way of operating a Christian enterprise. If legal it is wrong.

It may be legal for the finance director of SVDP to take a $100, 000 donation from a closed Catholic church, money proposed by Executive Director and given by Catholic Church to be deposited in separate Needy Conference fund and to be used for “food, clothes, furniture and appliances” and to put it in a store fund for store credits for needy conferences when she decides. (See letter attached of proposal that was approved by St. Catherine’s parish council and Board of Directors.) This move violates subsidiary. It may be legal but it is wrong.

We could go on and on with facts and actions that may be “legal but wrong.” But as shown in previous responses a person needs “ears to hear and eyes to see” to hear the cry of the poor.

A Society of St. Vincent de Paul run on blind faith to a few highly paid staff and consultants, not Vincentians, is not what St. Vincent de Paul. As I said I can back all my facts up. But investing millions of dollars in a Thrift Store with no open and verifiable business plan,to serve those in need and just for possible profit is legal but, in my opinion of truth, not what SVDP is all about. I now what Vicentians and people we serve would say if allowed and I would like to believe it is yours but so far is clearly not. More if you want it, can handle it or hear it.

Trickle Down or Trickle Up

What would Frederic Ozanam or St. Vincent de Paul Do?

Trickle Down

Proposed Greenfield store

between Family Thrist and
New Super Wal-Mart
Estimated investment of 4 −5 million plus!

1.8 Million dollar loan to purchase former Wal-Mart store in Greenfield suburb between established thrift store and new Super Wal-Mart; 1.4 million dollar loan to renovate and finish new Thrift store; Interest on two loans; Condo fees; cost in lieu of taxes to Greenfield; estimated operating Cost with 30 – 50 new employees plus heat, eclecticty etc. 1.5 −2 million per year

Central Office Staff

SVDP Executive Board

President Council


Home Visit

Home Visit

Trickle Up

Home Visit


President’s Council

SVDP Executive Board

Central office staff
Estimate investment of 0 dollars with sale of unused SVDP properties
Operating cost of store =self sustaining with conference vouchers and sales.

Store in North

Central Milwaukee

Sell Central Office building and vacant property on MLK drive and use money to purchase a Thrift store/Central Office in North Central Milwaukee, the most improvised, most racially segregated part of city

Two St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store Proposals

Which proposal makes the most business sense and is most in accord with Mission of SVDP and Stores?

Central Office, Consultants Proposal
Location: 4500 S. 108th St. City of Greenfield A former Wal-Mart Store, between new Wal-Mart store and a USA Family Thrift Store. The Yellow Pages list 10 Thrift Stores in the Greenfield area.

Few SVDP home visits to people in need to Greenfield area.

Purchase Price:
Property purchase 1.8 million from bank loan. Renovations 1.4 million from bank loans. Interest on Loans??? Co-op cost??
Payment promised in lieu of Taxes Greenfield ?? Cost of building a Little League trail ???? Liability Cost of Trail?????
Total Contract price: 3.2 million to 4 million

Operating Cost per Year:

30 – 50 full or part time employees (according to real estate develop before City of Greenfield property
1.2 Million dollars based on compensation cost of Southside store.
Heat and Electricity and maintenance of 35, 000 square feet????

Total Operational Cost based on South Side store $800, 000 per year
Estimate of Contract price and operating cost for 1 year for Greenfield store: 6 million dollars

Source: Loans, use of merchandise revenue and?? Return on Investment—Many years before any trickle down for people in need served by SVDP

People’s Choice plan of Vincentians and residents who see the need for SVDP thrift store in North Central Milwaukee rather than Greenfield.

Location: North Central Milwaukee, area between North and Silver Spring, 60th street and Milwaukee River. This is the most racially segregated area of Milwaukee, the most racially segregated city in USA and the poorest area in Milwaukee, one of the poorest cities in USA. There are only five thrift stores in area.
Majority of SVDP home visits are made to people in North Central Milwaukee.

Purchase or Lease Price

Unknown but no payment in lieu of property tax, no co-op cost and no cost for private trail and liability.

Cost of purchase or least would come from sale, lease or better use of SVDP present four properties that have a market value of $3, 356,000 as of three years ago. For example, the property on MLK drive is soon to be leased/sold to a school. Property at 10th and Madison has plenty of empty office space that could be used by central staff, thus freeing up a valuable property for sale.

Five −10 full or part time employees time employees with volunteers from W-2, Vincentian and Neighborhood program, based on model used successfully by St. Ben’s meal program and House of peace. Investment of time means more investment of money.

Compensation based on present cost 200, 000-$300, 000.
Operating Cost, heat, electricity and phone?

North Central Store would be self sustaining
Any return on investment would be put back into operating store and helping SVDP conferences.

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