Dear Friends of the Good Samaritan House,
Did you know that Granite City is home to the largest women and children’s shelter in the St Louis Metro East Region? For 20 years, the St. Louis Region has said “yes” to supporting initiatives that improve the lives of families that are experiencing homelessness. 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 an increased risk of health problems, 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 additional case management positions. This partnership is aimed at improving the collaborative relationship with local schools to ensure that all GSH children have their educational needs met and are enrolled in school within 2 days of entering our program. In addition to enrollment, GSH staff coordinates services with local educational programs, tutoring and mental health services to address barriers that hinder the educational well-being of the 140 children served at GSH in 2017.
On a national level, access to safe and affordable 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 bed room. 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’s community partnerships 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 Case Management team, in - collaboration with other 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 intense 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.
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 honor our past and embrace our future.
Please consider adding the Good Samaritan House to the list of organizations you support. 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, Latosha Davis at 618-219-9513 to schedule a visit to our facility!
Latosha R. Davis, LCSW
Good Samaritan House