Summer/Fall 2020 Newsletter
Through the ups and downs, Good Samaritan has never stopped providing assistance to those who are in need in our community. How? Our staff! They’ve come to us from various backgrounds and all walks of life, each with their own individual purposes, wanting to be part of Good Samaritan. They exhibit commitment, passion, and desire to live their lives in service to others and they do so with integrity and heart. My time as the treasurer of Good Samaritan Ministries, a faith-based nonprofit, has been and continues to be a labor of love.
Please click below to read our entire newsletter
Good Samaritan Ministries Building Improvement
Please click the link below to read about Good Samaritan’s need for a new roof for our store and also additional storage and our plan that we have created with the help of Lewis and Clark County
The following is a list of participants on the meeting, the meeting chat, and a hearing summary
Home is Where the Heart is
There was a lady… with two young sons… who needed help with getting into a home after being homeless for months. She had a good paying job but also had debt that she was working on getting cleared up. She had saved enough for rent but really could not come up with the deposit in time for this rental. She came into GSM requesting help. After interviewing her she applied for the Hunthausen program for deposit support. The Hunthausen Fund is unique in serving the working population with a half loan – no interest, half grant funds up to $1000.00. She has one year to repay half of the total deposit back. This is to help people with a hand up not a total hand out. She made a few payments then came in to pay the remaining off. The look of relief at not being homeless any longer is tremendous. There is so much gratitude and happiness. I wish everyone who helps donate to this cause could witness this relief. The boys now have a home to grow up in and be in a safe environment, the mother is not so stressed about not being able to provide for her children how she wants, their lives have improved tenfold!! The gratitude when the last payment is made, the simple responsibility of paying it off makes these clients feel as if they themselves have invested in this entire process. It feels like it is theirs and they are proud of this achievement.
Thank you, donors, it is because of you we can provide The Hunthausen Fund and continue the work of Archbishop Hunthuasen, Fr. Jack and Sister Edna for all to have a home.
Good Samaritan Annual Report
Through the ups and downs, Good Samaritan has never stopped providing assistance to those who are in need in our community. How? Our staff! They’ve come to us from various backgrounds and all walks of life, each with their own individual purposes, wanting to be part of Good Samaritan. They exhibit commitment, passion, and desire to live their lives in service to others and they do so with integrity and heart.
click the link to view our full annual report
Health and Safety Update for the Ridership of Capital Transit/City of Helena Bus Service’s
The City of Helena/Capital Transit resumed service on Capital Transit’s Red and Blue fixed-route buses on Monday, June 1. This change in service coincides with the Governor’s order moving the State to Phase 2 of the State of Montana COVID-19 Recovery Plan. Please find details and requirements for Capital Transit services below.
Good Samaritan/Lewis and Clark County Public Meeting
Please Publish: August 23, 30, 2020
Contact: Ann McCauley, Lewis and Clark County Grants Administrator
Bill to: Good Samaritan Ministries
Good Samaritan Ministries/Lewis and Clark County Public Meeting
Lewis and Clark County is sponsoring a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) application for funding improvements to the Good Samaritan Ministries building located at 3067 North Montana, Helena, Montana. Improvements include repair to the facility’s roof. The Preliminary Architectural Report being prepared will also consider future interior upgrades to make the building more efficient
and address potential safety issues. The meeting will be held via Zoom with a brief presentation on the project and potential funding. Participants will be given an opportunity to comment. The video call will be held at noon on Thursday, September 3, 2020 at 12:00 pm. To join the meeting please use the following instructions:
Video call link: https://zoom.us/j/98318053443
Call In: (253) 215-8782
Meeting ID: 983 1805 3443#
Watch the Lewis and Clark County and Good Samaritan website and Facebook page for additional information on the project.
Website: www.lccountymt.gov/cdp/grants-program.html or www.goodsamhelena.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/LCCoGovernment or www.facebook.com/goodsamhelena
Written comments are encouraged and should be mailed to Robie Culver, Grant Writer, Stahly Engineering & Associates, 3530 Centennial Drive, Helena, MT 59601 or emailed to [email protected] on or before September 9, 2020.
For further information please contact Ann McCauley, Lewis and Clark County, (406) 447-8383; Robie Culver, Stahly Engineering, (406) 442-8594; or Theresa Ortega, Good Samaritan, (406) 442-0780.
We give a hand up, not a hand out
Good Samaritan’s Assistance Ministry was working with a young man who was in such a desperate situation, no home, no money, no sense of security, such a fear of the future that he didn’t know how or if he even wanted to live anymore. Good Samaritan helped him with a bus ticket to Butte where he was able to get stable housing and start a new life. He recently was in contact with our Assistance Coordinator and told her how he wakes up grateful every day now instead of wanting to die.
The young man was so thankful for the help from Good Samaritan Ministries that he came back and donated to the Assistance Ministry to show his gratitude for the new life he has built for himself.
His story is a great example of how Good Samaritan gives people a hand up not a handout in order for them to succeed in life.
Good Samaritan Ministries is helping people avoid crisis during COVID
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues various support systems have been implemented to help people make it through this crisis. Even with the numerous grants and other programs, no system is perfect and some in need have been left without support.
Good Samaritan Ministries in Helena has been there to catch people who fell through the cracks in the system and help them avoid crisis, including those they employ.
Marvin Colman manages Our Place, a drop-in center overseen by Good Samaritan that provides a place for people dealing with mental health challenges, homelessness or other struggles find support.
The pandemic caused Colman and his family to need the same type of support.
“When the shutdown first happened, there was just so much need in the community we couldn’t close. So we laid off our employees, I stayed working 25 to 30 hours a week,” said Colman.
Colman spent the beginning of the pandemic mainly delivering food and groceries to people who couldn’t pick it up themselves.
By working that much, although reduced, Colman didn’t qualify for unemployment benefits. He’s also a student right now, which means he didn’t qualify for the federal stimulus money.
“Then the avalanche started where I just couldn’t pay everything each month, and eventually got to the point where I was so far behind I had to make the decision of do I keep the power on or do I pay the rent,” explained Colman.
Colman helps hundreds of people each week with finding housing, job services, peer support rides and food delivery. Yet he himself still struggled with admitting he needed help.
“It’s unfortunately part of our culture and so that’s where I found myself, even though I am a hard worker,” Colman said. “It was a little humbling at first, but then I thought ‘this happened, it was beyond your control, go ask!’ which was the hardest thing to do.”
Good Samaritan’s assistance ministries were able to help Colman with his rent, and began getting out of the ever deepening hole he had found himself in.
“Once I got my rent paid I could focus on all of the other bills coming in,” Colman said. “It gave me a month to get back on my feet. Then we opened, my hours went back to normal and I’m slowly digging out.”
Colman’s story is similar to the hundreds of families Good Samaritan helps every week. Most found themselves in mounting debt due to unforeseen circumstances.
Executive Director Theresa Ortega says the COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult time for the organization, but one they’re adapting to.
“Even though our Thrift Store had closed, our Assistance Ministry never stopped,” said Ortega. “We provided services online to get people connected with different agencies to arrange for a place to stay or what their needs were.”
Good Samaritan can assist people with childcare, vehicle repair, dental, household items, toiletries and more.
The nonprofit was able to meet those needs during the pandemic thanks to the Paycheck Protection Program from SBA, and a $10,000 COVID Relief grant from the State of Montana.
The parable of the Good Samaritan tells the story of a man giving aid to someone in need, and expecting nothing in return.
Ortega says they will continue to live up to their namesake and help all in need they can, even long after the pandemic has passed.
“We like to follow our services to serve the most in need throughout our community, the whole aspect of that. Those usually are the people that are ill, or downtrodden or homeless and we’ll keep going no matter what,” said Ortega.
The Good Samaritan Thrift Store is back up to their regular hours,and accepting donation on Tuesdays, Tuesdays and Saturdays.
More information about the services Good Samaritan Ministries provides, and how to support their mission can be found here.
Emergency housing assistance is also avalible through the State COVID Relief Fund. More information and how to apply can be found here.