The St. Vincent De Paul Society Building located at 146 Waterloo Street in Saint John is designated a Local Historic Place for its use as the headquarters of the benevolent St. Vincent De Paul Society for over 100 years.
The society was founded in 1833 by Frederick Ozanam, a 20 year old student in Paris who was inspired by the 17th century French Saint, Vincent De Paul.
The St. Vincent de Paul Society was established in Saint John in this building in 1905 and has continued to serve the poor, underprivileged, and needy in the central Saint John area at this location for over 100 years.
A 1967 report stated that the society aided between 300 and 400 families annually and handed out 9,000 articles of used clothing and supplied 65 dinners at Christmas. Members of the society collect the clothing through donations, sort them and distribute them. In 1967, this local family service society received corporate status.
The St. Vincent de Paul Society numbers about 800,000 members in some 140 countries worldwide, whose members operate through “conferences”. A Conference may be based out of a church, school, community center, hospital, etc., and is composed of Catholic volunteers who pursue their own Christian growth in the service of the poor. Some Conferences exist without affiliating with any local Council, and so are not counted in statistics. Non-Catholics may join and the Society serves all regardless of their personal beliefs.