Hello, Neighbor

St. Vincent De Paul, Don & Phyllis Neyer Outreach Center

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Cincinnati, Ohio | 40,000 SF

A new support center helps St. Vincent de Paul Cincinnati reach people in need.
Bench seating in the library, around the central stair, creates an inviting space for friendly conversation between staff and neighbors seeking services.

“Neighbors helping neighbors,” is how St. Vincent de Paul Cincinnati (SVdP) describes its mission to provide essential support services – from food pantry and pharmacy to dental and eye clinics – to people in need. The new Don & Phyllis Neyer Outreach Center, across the street from their current location in Cincinnati’s West End, helps them reach even deeper into the community. Multiple services are now offered simultaneously (instead of on alternating days) thanks to an increase in common space. 

The lobby is directly adjacent to offices and open to the second floor. The ability to see so much of the interior creates a feeling of welcome.

Inside the light-filled lobby, a central stair is more than a way to move between floors – it’s a gathering point that incorporates a variety of seating options, a library, and a kid’s zone. Bench seats remove barriers between staff and clients by letting them talk side-by-side. Wall imagery tells the story of people who have been served by St. Vincent de Paul.

The central stair encourages movement and connects to the first floor library.
The library, easily accessed by adults and children, provides a place to explore and connect with others when neighbors arrive for appointments.
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“The new outreach center is truly for our neighbors. Our goal is to provide the most dignified experience possible for families and provide better access to our emergency services like our Charitable Pharmacy, food, clothing, furniture, as well as help with rent and utility payments.”

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- Becky Catino, Co-chair of the Upward Spiral Comprehensive Campaign for St. Vincent de Paul Cincinnati

The chapel is a place for staff to come together for daily prayer and conversation, but it’s also open to all visitors and volunteers. Natural light filtering through clerestory windows enhances the chapel’s spiritual feel and its location near the entrance is a prominent reminder of their mission. 

High ceilings and ambient daylight invite people into the chapel.

Visitors arrive through a courtyard garden opposite their existing building, but the new center is also designed to feature SVdP’s visibility from the adjacent interstate. Its second story appears to float above the building’s masonry base; the vertically seamed metal skin helps the center fit into its industrial surroundings yet stand apart as a beacon in the community.

The building's kitchen is adjacent to this entry courtyard, making it easy for staff to serve breakfast to neighbors in need.