There is always someone worse off….

There is always someone worse off….

 

In Aug of 2020, a consumer, a pleasant man in obvious personal pain came into the Our Place looking for housing. He had at one time had stable housing, a stable job, and ten years of sobriety from a Methamphetamine and Heroin addiction.

After a short talk with Our Place peer support, we learned that four months earlier his daughter had committed suicide, a week after that his older brother had lost his life to COVID-19, then within a month he lost his job and housing with nowhere else to go but his vehicle. Unfortunately he was unable to  cope and process the personal tragedies and pain. Unfortunately, he returned to his addictions and became lost in drugs again  numbing the  pain.

He contacted several agencies for a Chemical Dependency Evaluation (CDE). He was told over and over, it would be between  five to six weeks before anyone would be able to see him.

A peer support specialist introduced him to the manager of Our Place. Once the need was identified, Instar community Services was contacted for a CDE as a Good Samaritan partner for such services. Upon complement of the evaluation it was determined he needed inpatient treatment and Good Samaritan contacted the Montana Chemical Dependency Center (MCDC) in Butte, Montana. Because his assessment of need was so great MCDC agreed to take him within the week.  Our Place gave him a ride to Butte and he spent thirty days in treatment.  While he was in treatment,  Our Place housing Coordinator, Lori reached out to the community and was able to find him housing. This, to prevent him from being homeless and without a safe place of his own. He graduated treatment and he is now stably housed. He continues counseling every week and is starting to work through the grief he feels for the loss of his family. He is currently reconnecting with his other two children and he just had a job interview he feels positive about.

 

You can help!

 

How simple gratitude can change our entire path

In February2020, a young female came into Our Place and asked the manager if she could volunteer at the drop-in center. The manager asked her why she wanted to volunteer. She told him that one year ago she had been homeless and living on the street. She had spent several months living in the shelter; while there Our Place had been one of the only places of actual comfort, safety, and warmth she could find.  Eventually, she was able to secure an apartment, but she never wanted to be in that position again, so she went to the Career Training Institute. She spent a year training with them in several different employee areas. The young lady had previously never been able to keep a job for more than a week or two because she suffered from mental illness.

While at the career institute she learned about Peer Support as a career opportunity. She applied for and received a grant from them to attend Peer Support training. She fell in love with the concept of helping others that suffered as she had. When she graduated, she heard that Our Place had come under new management. The manager told her they had no job openings, but she simply shook her head and said, “No, I’m not looking for work right now I am looking for experience.” She told him that she knew she didn’t have very much work experience and wanted to volunteer twenty hours a week as peer support so that someday when she did get a job she would already be good at it.

The manager signed her up as a volunteer and gave her on the job training including everything from the NASW code of ethics to Crisis response. She was able to develop good work habits such as good attendance, mediation, and the ability to connect with her peers while remaining objective. Six months after she started volunteering, a job opportunity came up at Our Place and due to her hard work and dependability the decision was made to hire her. She works as a peer support specialist and enjoys success in this field to this very day.

An AmeriCorps Member has been housed!

 

An AmeriCorps member has been housed!

An AmeriCorps- Montana Conservation Corps member started serving for his term this past fall to help do studies on homes and fire mitigation. He moved from California to Montana to serve and could not find housing right away. He ended up camping for a while and it started getting cold. He knew he needed to find housing before winter began but needed some resources because he was still new to Helena. Matt came to Good Samaritan’s for housing navigation services and was able to get housed after two weeks. Thanks to a private landlord in the community who is opening to taking AmeriCorps members who on average get a net income of $800-$900 a month. Good Samaritan’s great appreciates the collaboration landlords provide to community members serving for their country.

Thank you to American Storage

We would like to send out a big thank you to American Storage and it’s owner Tim Davis for their community collaboration with Good Samaritan’s Housing Navigator by program providing 2 storage units free of charge to our program.

The owner says: “We are pleased to work with organizations who are helping those in need. Our donation allows you to provide valuable storage space to those in transition at the time that they need it most”

 

http://www.americanstoragemt.com/

What a person can do today with assistance, they will do tomorrow by themselves.

We did a mission moment months ago regarding a young lady who was struggling in life. She desperately needed help and someone to help her navigate towards finding that help. She was about as lost as a person can be, needing mental health care as well as addiction treatment and help. We cannot stress enough about how hard it was to get her the help she deserves and needed. She strived for a life that she can be proud of and a life where she can be happy. She worked so hard to achieve this. And Good Samaritan has walked this path with her and could not be prouder of who she is today. She is fully in recovery, working with the PACT team from The Center for Mental Health who has guided her in changing her life. She is now seeing her children again which is what she was fighting so hard for. We wish you could all see this transformation. You would be moved to tears as we have been.

Every single day is a struggle for those facing mental health challenges along with addiction issues. It is a very real problem. We ALL need to come together to help support individuals in this struggle. To help them navigate the system so they can each get the help they DESERVE! And if we come together like we did for this young lady and fight for their right to a good life we can have more success stories such as hers. She is truly an inspiration.

 

It only takes one person to believe in you to start believing in yourself

 

 

 

Everyone deserves a hand up

A gentleman of 79 years came to Our Place. He worked in an asbestos mine, when publicized asbestos was toxic, he not only lost his job, but became ill with asbestos poisoning. He eventually received a sum from a general asbestos fund but by that time had developed Asbestos related symptoms which took his settlement, plus more leaving him homeless.  The treatment left him disabled and learning to live on the streets.

With many years of homelessness and homes being taken due to “community progress” …he hitchhiked his way to Helena with the thought there must be more services in the State Capitol. He spent the first thirty days in Helena trying to find housing but was unsuccessful, he remained homeless in a shelter or on the streets.  He was referred to us by Purview and the homeless shelter finding his way to Our Place. Staff at Our Place completed the standard housing intake with him, including a Permanent Supportive Housing application in hopes of receiving a housing voucher. The sad truth is, however, that the waiting list for these programs can take 1-2 years before someone is accepted and that is assuming once they are accepted into the program they can find a house that takes a voucher.

That same day we made several phone calls without success, but we refused to accept defeat! He needed a clean place because of his medical condition. Can you imagine being ill and homeless?  One of our other clients suggested an apartment complex with openings, we called it just in case there might be an opening.  After repeated attempts to reach the company on the phone, we decided to take the gentleman up there in person.

Sometimes life is all about timing, luck, or a candle in the wind from someone giving back. When we walked into the building the regional manager was there. She gave us an application at which we filled out together. We turned it in and miraculously the manager was so impressed with him, she approved him on the spot. He moves in three days from now!

Everyone deserves a home of their own!!!

 

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

Summer-Fall 2020 Newsletter