New Store Hours

Due to limited staff both our store and dock hours have changed. Our new store hours are:

Monday-Saturday 10 am – 6 pm

Sunday 10 am – 5 pm

Our Dock Hours are: Wednesday – Saturday 12 pm – 5 pm

 

Thank you for your consideration during this time. We will return to regular hours once staffing needs are met

YOU MAY STILL QUALIFY FOR A STIMULUS CHECK – GOOD SAM CAN HELP!!

You may still qualify for a stimulus check, do you need help? The information below may help with these questions.  If you need further assistance please call Good Samaritan Ministries for further help.

 

3rd Economic Impact Payment 

The IRS is currently issuing a 3rd EIP to every eligible American. EIPs, also known as stimulus payments, are different from most other tax benefits; people can get the payments even if they have little or no income and even if they do not usually file a tax return. This is true as long as they have a Social Security number and are not being supported by someone else who can claim them as a dependent

Help Needed

Please help us reach individuals who do not normally file a tax return because they do not have enough income requiring them to file. We are especially trying to reach people experiencing homelessness and those who are unbanked. They will need to provide information to the IRS to get this 3rd payment. While these payments continue to be made automatically to most people, the IRS cannot issue a payment to eligible Americans when information about them is not available in the tax agency’s systems.

People who did not receive the first two EIP payments can still qualify for those payments when they file their 2020 return by claiming the Recovery Rebate Credit. There is a special section on IRS.gov that can help: Claiming the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit if you are not required to file a tax return.

More people qualify for the 3rd EIP than earlier payments. Here’s what is different:

  • Payment amounts. Most families will get $1,400 per person, including all eligible dependents claimed on their tax return.
  • Qualifying dependents. Not restricted to children under 17. Eligible individuals will get a payment based on all their qualifying dependents claimed on their return.
  • Taxpayers who file using an ITIN may be eligible to receive a third payment for their qualifying dependent. Up to $1,400 per qualified dependent who has a valid SSN can be received if the taxpayer does not have a valid SSN but meets all the other eligibility and income requirements.

Getting the payment

  • The IRS will use available information to determine eligibility and issue the 3rd payment to eligible people who:
    • Filed a 2020 tax return
    • Filed a 2019 tax return if the 2020 tax return has not been submitted or processed yet
    • Did not file a 2020 or 2019 tax return but registered for the first EIP payment with the Non-Filers tool in 2020
    • Are federal benefit recipients who do not usually file a tax return.

 NOTE:   If none of the above applies, the individual will need to file a 2020 federal tax return.

The former IRS non-filer tool is no longer available. Individuals who do not normally file a return will need to file a 2020 tax return to receive this 3rd EIP.

The Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit

For people experiencing homelessness who have a job, filing a return often carries a bonus —getting a refund based on various tax benefits, especially the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for low- and moderate-income workers and working families.

The EITC is for workers who do not earn a high income. Like many other workers, some workers experiencing homelessness earned too little income during 2020 to owe tax but still qualify for the credit. For 2020, the income limit is $56,844. Those who make less than this amount must also meet other eligibility requirements.

Because it is a refundable credit, those who qualify and claim the credit could pay less federal tax, pay no tax, or even get a tax refund. The EITC can put up to $6,660 into a worker’s pocket. The amount varies depending upon the worker’s income, marital status, and other factors.

The IRS recognizes that eligible workers experiencing homelessness often encounter unique challenges not faced by other people.

To find out if they’re eligible, people can use the EITC Assistant on IRS.gov.

Taxpayers with children may also be eligible for the Child Tax Credit. Some people will be able to get advance payments of the child tax credit later this year. Those who qualify for advance payments just need to file a 2020 tax return

Challenges and Resources for the Homeless

Some individuals may not have internet capability, a bank account, or a permanent address and may need assistance claiming their EIP payment.

Permanent address not required

People can claim an Economic Impact Payment or other credits even if they don’t have a permanent address. For example, someone experiencing homelessness may list the address of a friend, relative or trusted service provider, such as a shelter, drop-in day center or transitional housing program, on the return filed with the IRS. If they are unable to choose direct deposit, a check for the tax refund and a check or debit card for the 3rd EIP can then be mailed to this address. Also, free post office boxes may be available by applying to the local post office. The postal service also has “General Delivery” mail service for people without a permanent address.

Homeless shelter counts as a home

A worker experiencing homelessness can get EITC. To get the credit, federal law requires that a worker live in the U.S. for more than half of the year and meet other requirements. This means living in a home in any of the 50 states or the District of Columbia. Therefore, individuals experiencing homelessness, including those who reside at one or more homeless shelters, can meet that requirement.

Options for people without a bank account for direct deposit

Many financial institutions will help a person lacking an account to open a low-cost or no-cost bank account. Individuals who open accounts will then have an account and routing number available when they file and claim a direct deposit of the EIP payment.

Please visit the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) website for details, in both English and Spanish, on opening an account online. Among other things, people can also use the FDIC’s BankFind tool to locate a nearby FDIC-insured bank. In addition, BankOnAmerican Bankers AssociationIndependent Community Bankers of AmericaNational Credit Union Administration have all compiled lists of banks and credit unions that can open an account online.

For veterans, see the Veterans Benefits Banking Program (VBBP) for access to financial services at participating banks.

For those with a prepaid debit card, they may be able to have their refund applied to the card. Many reloadable prepaid cards or mobile payment apps have account and routing numbers that can be provided to the IRS. Individuals would need to check with the financial institution to ensure the card can be used and to obtain the routing number and account number, which may be different from the card number.

File for free

The fastest and easiest way to get the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit and EITC or to get the third EIP payment is to file a return electronically using IRS Free File. People can use a smartphone or computer to visit IRS.gov and click the File Your Taxes for Free link.

Through the Free File system, anyone who qualifies for the EITC also qualifies to use brand-name software to prepare and electronically file their return for free. The IRS urges anyone experiencing homelessness who has access to a smartphone or computer to take advantage of this service.

Refund and payment status

People can check the status of their tax refund using Where’s My Refund? at IRS.gov or call 800-829-1954 for automated refund information. They can check the status of their third Economic Impact Payment using Get My Payment on IRS.gov. IRS phone assistors do not have more information than what is available in this online tool.

Financial Assistant

Objective of the Position:  To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily.  The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill and/or ability required.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

 

The Fiscal Manager Assistant assists in managing and implementing fiscal, accounting procedures and policies.  This position works under strict timelines and completion dates.  Must possess the ability to be flexible and work other assigned projects and duties as necessary and instructed.  Must have working knowledge of bookkeeping, fiscal management, accounting procedures, payroll processing, grant development and grant management. Skills needed for this position are attention to detail, multi-tasking, and organizational. Should be proficient in QuickBooks, Microsoft Office, and Internet Utilization and have at least three years of progressive accounting responsibility.  Experience in nonprofit accounting and/or thrift store operations is strongly desired.

 

Essential Skills and Abilities:

Duties and Responsibilities including but not limited to the following:

Accounting Skills

  • Knowledge of principles, practices, terminology, and common forms used in GAAP, computerized accounting, and general ledger. General understanding of internal controls and auditing practices and procedures.

 

Annually

  • Develops, modifies and maintains the Annual Report and Fiscal Policy and procedures manual
  • Prepares and maintains audit reports from a variety of supporting records and works closely with auditing firm on annual audit and Form 990.
  • Prepares draft of annual budget with input and final approval by the Executive Director and the Board.
  • Prepares 1099 MISC forms for vendor payments

 

Monthly

  • Analyzes and reconciles financial records/accounts for discrepancies and corrects irregularities.
  • Prepares monthly adjusting entries to reconcile prepaid accounts, loan accounts, record assistance activity, etc.
  • Compiles, with accuracy, reports and financial statements for Board review, granting agencies, and internal departments in Excel and QuickBooks.
  • Prepares for and attends all board meetings.

 

Weekly/Daily

  • Maintains and monitors Point of Sale system and records store sales daily.
  • Communicates with vendors (as required) regarding accounts payable.
  • Maintains and reconciles bank accounts for multiple programs (Thrift Store, Assistance, loans, savings and various grants).
    • Prepares (daily) and records deposits across program bank accounts
    • Prepares and records vendor payments across program bank accounts, utilizing online bill pay and checks.
  • Perform routine calculations to produce analyses and reports as requested.
  • Help oversee and manage individual accounts.
  • Create, send, and follow up on invoices.
  • Is a backup for payroll processing, ensures payroll garnishments and child support payments are made in a timely manner.
  • Assists in monitoring, tracking, and maintaining databases to include monetary donations, in-kind donations, financial assistance, in-store assistance, thank you letters and tracking for donors and volunteer hours.
  • Classify, records, and summarizes financial data to compile and keep financial records.
  • Compile statistical, financial, accounting or auditing reports and tables pertaining to such matters as cash receipts, expenditures, accounts payable and receivable, and profits and losses.

 

Grants

  • Assist and participate in grant development opportunities with the Fiscal Manager and Executive Director; identifies needs and researches potential opportunities for grant submission. Help assist in the development of grant proposals.
  • Maintains a master grant list; develops reports on status and manages the internal and external reporting requirements as established by the grantors.

 

 Other Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Promotes the mission of Good Samaritan Ministries and Thrift Store Functions effectively as a team player while interacting and communicating professionally and effectively, maintaining open communication with supervisors, and other team members, customers, clients, vendors, and community partners.
  • Attends all meetings and trainings as required and pertaining to position.
  • Learn new tasks.
  • Attends work on a regular basis with minimal absences or tardiness
  • May be required to work over 40 hours a week, or re-arrange hours as necessary, must be approved by the supervisor
  • Comply with federal, state, and company policies, procedures, and regulations.
  • Adheres to all building safety requirements according to the fire code for all areas in the store.
  • Other duties as assigned

 

Special Events:

  • An integral part of the special events team to include Fashion Show, St. Francis Dinner and other fundraising events.
  • In conjunction with the Executive Director, develops requests for donations, sponsorships and in-kind donations.
  • Responsible for fiscal responsibilities during fundraising events
  • Assists in maintaining and keeping fundraising databases current

 

Qualifications:

  • The desire to promote the mission of Good Samaritan Ministries and Thrift Store
  • Must be skilled and proficient with QuickBooks and maintaining databases
  • AA or preferred BA in Accounting, Business or another related field OR 5-10 years’ experience or a combination of education and work experience in accounting and/or bookkeeping, Accounts Payable/Receivable
  • Grant development and writing (to be discussed)
  • Attend Board meetings and present/review financial statements
  • Valid MT Driver’s License or valid MT Identification Card for hiring purposes

 

Physical Requirements:

  • May be required to lift, and carry objects weighing up to 20lbs. team lifting 20lbs and above
  • Must be able to sit for long periods of time while working on the computer
  • May spend work hours interacting with vendors, staff, customers, or those in need of support through the ministries.

 

Working Environment: The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

 

  • May work both inside and off-campus to attend community meetings.
  • Fast paced store environment with heavy traffic flow on and off throughout the day
  • May be required to interact throughout the day with customers or those in need

 

A smile as big as the Montana Moon

One afternoon an HPD officer called and asked Good Sam’s team to go check on a particular gentleman living under the walking bridge close to Exploration Works. When we found this gentleman, he was wet, and so cold he could not move. He really was freezing to death!  Wet, freezing and in pain from frostbite, our team loaded him up and took him straight to GSM Thrift Store for warm clothes as well as food to get through the first night. Instead of putting back outside, he was taken to a hotel to start his journey back to health and society…and this is when the work began. The teamwork for this very vulnerable individual in our community.

Good Samaritan was given an electric wheelchair for someone in need; we gave it to this man who had lost part of a finger from the spokes in his manual wheelchair.   Thank you to the donor, it found a home and made someone very happy. This man had frostbite so bad on his hands that he could not grasp things. He has such severe frostbite he had multiple treatments a week scraping off the frostbite from skin. And he does it with a smile on his face, happy to be alive, and grateful for the help.

This man, as we got to know him, is the kindest, sweetest most amazing guy you could ever meet. How in the world had things slipped so bad to put him in this situation with nowhere to turn, nowhere to go, and no known family or friends to help? We ALL jumped in for his different needs and blended together for his progress.  We all went to work for him! One of our team members continued getting food for him and transporting him to medical appointments for serious conditions. He was a victim of his social security money being continuously stolen, together he and staff worked on getting a new payee so he could actually see his own money. Every single one of our team members came together to work with him on different needs. He was so thankful and happy to work with the Good Sam team, a smile on his face, happy to be alive, and grateful for the help.

This is the reason we do what we do, we strive to make the lives of those who cross our paths better. They are worth it, and they certainly deserve it! And you, our donors help us make these changes in everyday lives.

The smile on his face will shatter your heart. It was so wide, full, and beautiful, just like a Montana moon! These acts of kindness still exist today. Changing lives for the better is something neighbors helping neighbors can do. 

Social Justice in Action

 

 An Article from the 2020 Good Samaritan Ministries Diocese Newsletter:

LOVE IN ACTION

“I’ve got a good job here but I can’t find housing for me and my family”, said an unnamed Helena man experiencing homelessness.  “I learned back in high school to trust my maker so that’s what I’m doin’ and I just keep on tryin’.”

For those who are homeless, winter brings significant additional challenges when the pandemic is also creating extra risk.  The organizations that serve individuals and families experiencing homelessness are reporting record numbers of people needing assistance with shelter. However, the pandemic impacts their ability to provide services.

Since its inception in the 1980’s, Good Samaritan Ministries (GSM) in Helena has provided help through a variety of programs to serve individuals with basic needs as well people who are homeless and those in need of immediate assistance. These programs include the Assistance Ministry and associated Thrift Store, Our Place, Housing Navigator, and the Street Outreach Program. These different programs within GSM are funded by the four area Catholic parishes (Cathedral of Saint Helena, St. Mary’s Catholic Community, Our Lady of the Valley, and Sts. Cyril & Methodious) who provide monthly donations, and many other area churches, individuals, grants, the City of Helena, and Lewis and Clark County.

“The Assistance Ministry is available 24/7 so people can get services any day of the week including evenings”, said Executive Director, Theresa Ortega. “This assistance program provides basic emergency crisis shelter, help to pay rent and power bills, clothing, furniture and household goods as well as helping with medical care and transportation costs.”

Within the Thrift Store is another unique service called the “Placer Pantry” that is only open at scheduled times to provide free items to those in need which includes diapers, baby formula, soap, sleeping bags and personal hygiene items.  The Soroptimists Club of Helena and the Greater Federation of Women partner with GSM to provide these pantry items.

GSM is one of the “front door” agencies to the Housing First statewide database. This is a collaborative project through United Way that identifies the unique needs of individuals and families who are homeless or at immediate risk of becoming homeless, matches them with the agencies that can best meet their needs for housing and other resources, and connects them with these agencies. This makes the process of securing shelter and a more permanent home significantly less stressful for people in need.

In December of 2019, GSM took over the management of the “Our Place” program for Lewis and Clark County. With its colorful outdoor sign promising empowerment, recovery and wellness, it provides people in need (veterans, those from institutional settings, or those simply lost and in need of help) with a safe warm daytime place.  In addition to companionship, Helena Food Share, Salvation Army, and dropped off food donations provide breakfast, lunch and snacks. Hot coffee is served all day long and people can use a bathroom and a washer/dryer to do their laundry – a luxury for those who cannot afford a laundromat.

Trained staff at Our Place networks with community and state agencies to meet a variety of people’s needs that range from chemical dependency, physical and mental health services and necessary medications to food, housing and helping them to sign up to receive treatment, mental health support, Social Security, Medicaid, or Veteran Administration benefits.

A man walked into GSM’s Our Place seeking help; he was homeless and living in his vehicle.  Four months earlier his daughter had committed suicide, and a week later his older brother died from COVID-19. Although a recovered addict who had been in sobriety for ten years, he turned back to drugs to numb his grief, and then lost his job and his housing.

In a compassionate response, Marvin Colman, Manager of Our Place, reached out and partnered with Instar Community Services on behalf of the man seeking help to obtain a Chemical Dependency Evaluation. Upon completion of the evaluation, it was determined he needed inpatient treatment and GSM then contacted the Montana Chemical Dependency Center in Butte, who agreed to take him within the week.  GSM supplied transportation to Butte, where the man spent 30 days in treatment.  He successfully completed treatment, and now has housing and a job. The added grace in this situation is that he reconnected with his other two children.

GSM utilizes an Emergency Solutions Grant, which provides emergency shelter and helps people remain in their homes by paying up to six months of back rent. This grant also funds the Rapid Rehousing program which pays for the deposit and up to three months of rent on housing for people who are homeless.

Recently, GSM received a grant to develop a new Street Outreach Program where trained individuals reach out to people living on the street.  They offer people who are homeless food, hot coffee, and a human connection.  The outreach staff assists with any immediate needs including referrals for social services. It can take the outreach staff a period of time to build bonds of trust, as many homeless people have been traumatized and may have lived on the street for a long time.

One of many successful GSM clients whose story has a happy ending is “Kimberly”.  Her name is just Kimberly – she has no last name for this article.

“The longer you’re homeless, the harder it is to get on your feet,” said Kimberly after two years of living homeless.  When she walked into GSM’s Our Place,  Kimberly was timid, scared and sat under the stairs visibly shaking.  But two months later, and with the combined efforts of GSM, Our Place staff, and the Helena Housing Authority, she is now out of the cold and in her own apartment with food in her kitchen, furniture and a bed.

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the corporal works of mercy are feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned, and burying the dead. Among all these, giving alms to the poor is one of the chief witnesses to fraternal charity; it is also a work of justice pleasing to God.

Each one of us can help the homeless people in our community.  We can offer prayers, make financial contributions to GSM, donate clothing, food, furniture and household goods, or become a volunteer. We can educate ourselves on the causes and conditions of homelessness. We can integrate the Catholic Social Teaching principles into our lives, which entails recognizing that all we have is a gift, given to be shared, and we are all created as children of God.

As our Holy Father Pope Francis wrote, “Each of us can learn something from others. No one is useless and no one is expendable.”

Beloved Mother, help us realize that we are all members of one great family and to recognize the bond that unites us, so that, in a spirit of fraternity and solidarity we can help to alleviate countless situations of poverty and need.”  Pope Francis