Did you know? During the year, we will be home to more than 250 women and children. 80% of our families will leave us, after 3 months on average, with a job, a home and a renewed sense of hope for their families future.
Our Mission and statement from leadership
The Good Samaritan House enriches the lives of women and children who are experiencing homelessness by offering them opportunities to become self-sufficient while supporting them in a loving Christian environment.
What an amazing year 2017 has been! The Good Samaritan House would not have so many wonderful stories to share with you without the unwavering commitment and support of our staff, volunteers and community. Our 2017 accomplishments are a true reflection of our community’s collaborative effort to end homelessness for women and children. Please let me share with you GSH’s response to meet the need of our homeless community.
According to the Madison County needs assessment, 50% or more of our homeless population is represented by individuals under the age of 18. Children experiencing homelessness are more likely to have increased risk of health problem, experience more school mobility and have lower academic performance. In response to this need, GSH has used its partnership with local colleges and universities to create an Education Liaison position, aimed at improving the collaborative relationship with local schools to ensure that all GSH children have their educational needs meet and are enrolled in school within 2 days of entering our program. In addition to enrollment, GSH staff coordinate services with local educational programs, tutoring and mental health services to address barriers that hinder the educational wellbeing of the 140 children served at GSH in 2017.
On a national level access to safe and affording housing continues to be a barrier for low income families. On average a head of household in the state of Illinois must earn a minimum of $15.00 an hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment and $21.00 an hour to afford a 3 bedroom unit. This proves challenging when the state minimum wage is $8.25. In no state does working a 40-hour minimum wage job enable our families to afford their housing needs. GSH community partnership allow us to addresses this issue in several ways:
- GSH provides weekly Financial Literacy, Resource Management and Budgeting classes facilitated by professionals from local financial intuitions.
- Employment and resume workshops are held by the agency’s Employment Specialist in conjunction with local universities and service organizations, leading to over 68% of our residents increasing income or gaining employment within 90 days.
- Partnerships with area landlords and mortgage providers have been vital in the successful rehousing of over 84% of our residents.
- In 2017, 100% of our families received intensive case management services. These services are accessible to our residents during their stay in our emergency shelter with up to 1 year of follow up case management once independence has been achieved.
- For those in need, GSH offers short term financial assistance to families seeking housing deposits, rent and/or utility assistance.
In this past year, GSH served approximately 180 families in its Emergency Shelter Program equally over 11,000 served bed nights. In addition to providing safe housing, GSH served over 34,000 meals to families experiencing homelessness. With so many challenges faced by the families we serve, GSH understands how important it is to ensure that GSH staff are equipped to handle to unique challenges of those we serve and the needs of our organization. While we maintained many of our tenured employees, GSH now offers case management services through a Bachelor's leveled Social Worker. In addition, we have hired a Director of Finance with a strong background in nonprofit fiscal management and a new Program Director that offers skills in program and staff development.
As I look ahead, I know the new year will continue to bring new opportunities and challenges. I also know that GSH has never been more prepared to meet the needs of those we serve. With your continued support, we look towards the future of strong financial footing and balance sheet; a dedicated team; an incomparable 20-year history – and a commitment to do even more. Please join us November 3rd, 2018 for our 20-year celebration as we remember our past and embrace our future.
For more information on Good Samaritan House, future events and ways to support the Good Samaritan House mission, please visit www.goodsamaritanhouse.org or contact me, Latosha Davis at 618-876-0607 to schedule a visit to our facility!
Latosha R. Davis, LCSW
Good Samaritan House