You can change a life

Greetings and Happy Holidays!

Each and every year we rely on generous donors like you to help us continue our work around keeping the Helena community a place where ALL of us can call home.

Instead of buying your friends and family a Christmas gift that they may not need consider donating to Good Samaritan in their name. They will receive a personal letter that a donation was made on their behalf for Christmas with information on what Good Samaritan does and how we help those struggling this time of year. If you choose to donate you will be helping our Assistance Ministry to:

  • Help the homeless off the streets or living in their cars to emergency shelter with continuing support
  • Help people find permanent housing and assist them as needed with rental deposits
  • Give those with nowhere else to go a safe space to speak to someone who can do their best to help meet their need
  • And every day needs that maybe we don’t think twice about such as: utility bills, clothing vouchers, medical supplies, medication assistance and so much more

https://www.goodsamhelena.org/assistance-ministry/

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

 

New COVID-19 Directives

TO: Montanans; all officers and agencies of the State of Montana
FROM: Governor Steve Bullock
DATE: November 17, 2020
RE: Directive implementing Executive Orders 2-2020 and 3-2020 and limiting size for public gatherings and events and limiting bar and restaurant capacity and hours.

To curtail the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Montana, and to protect the health and economic
wellbeing of all Montanans, it is necessary to implement additional measures to reduce spread of the
disease. In consultation with public health experts, health care providers, and emergency management
professionals, I have determined that to protect public health and human safety, it is essential to
provide certain restrictions and recommendations to limit public gatherings and close contact with
others.
November 17, 2020

Therefore, in accordance with the authority vested in me under the Constitution, Article VI, Sections 4
and 13, and the laws of the State of Montana, Title 10, Chapter 3 and Title 50, Chapter 1, MCA, and
other applicable provisions of the Constitution and Montana law, I hereby direct the following
measures be in place in the State of Montana, effective at 5 a.m. on Friday, November 20, 2020:

I. Restaurants, Bars, Breweries, Distilleries, and Casinos to Operate at 50 percent Capacity
and Close No Later Than 10:00 PM
 Capacity in all restaurants, bars, breweries, distilleries, and casinos must be limited to
50 percent of normal operating capacity to allow for adequate group spacing.
 Tables must be limited to six people per table.
 Establishments must provide for 6 feet of physical distancing between groups and or tables by:
o Increasing table spacing, removing tables, or marking tables as closed.
o Providing for a physical barrier between tables.
o Note: back-to-back booth seating provides adequate separation.
 These businesses will be required to close their doors and have all patrons out by 10:00 p.m.
Businesses may reopen after 4:00 a.m.
 Breweries and distilleries shall follow existing laws on closing time.

II. Public Gatherings and Events Limited to 25 Individuals Where Social Distancing Is Not
Possible or Observed
 Any public gatherings or events where it is not possible to practice social distancing or where
social distancing is not being practiced must be strictly limited to 25 people or fewer.
o Anyone planning an event with more than 25 people should consult with their local public health office on a plan to implement adequate social distancing.
o This Directive does not alter existing requirements for houses of worship. Faith leaders are urged to continue to ensure that social distancing is possible and practiced for all in person services, and to encourage the use of virtual services where possible.
o This Directive does not alter existing requirements for public and private K-12 schools.
o The 25-person limit does not apply to bars, restaurants, breweries, distilleries, and casinos operating under the requirements set forth in Part I of this Directive.
 Though the group size limit applies only to public gatherings and events involving more than 25 people where social distancing is not possible or observed, Montanans are urged in the strongest terms to limit their involvement in any in-person gatherings of 15 or more people— including private gatherings inside a home. Such gatherings are a significant contributor to the
spread of the virus.
o Montanans are urged to practice social distancing in any gathering of any size outside their own household.

CDC guidance regarding Thanksgiving specifically is available here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-lifecoping/holidays/thanksgiving.html.

CDC guidance for more navigating the holidays more generally is available here:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html.
November 17, 2020

III. Face Coverings Required in All Counties Regardless of Case Count
 The requirements described in the July 15 Directive providing for the mandatory use of face
coverings in certain settings and the August 12 Directive providing for the mandatory use of face coverings in all K-12 schools are modified to apply in all counties statewide, whether or not a county has identified four active cases. The narrow allowance permitting students to remove face coverings while seated and observing proper social distancing of six feet, set forth
in the August 27 Directive, remains in effect according to the terms of that Directive.
Enforcement: This Directive, along with any prior Directive that implements and references the public health authorities of DPHHS provided in Title 50, constitutes a “public health . . . order” within the
meaning of § 50-1-103(2), MCA, and is enforceable by the Attorney General, DPHHS, a county attorney, or other local authorities under the direction of a county attorney.
 Local public health agencies are directed to assist in the administration of this Directive, consistent with § 50-1-202(2)(a), MCA. All officers and agencies of the state are directed to assist in the administration and enforcement of this Directive, consistent with § 10-3-305(2), MCA.
Applicability: In the interest of uniformity of laws and to prevent the spread of disease, all inconsistent local government health ordinances or orders are preempted by this Directive, but only to the extent they are less restrictive. Counties, cities, and towns may adopt more restrictive ordinances. To the limited
extent any previous Directives are in direct conflict with the provisions of this Directive, they are superseded. Otherwise, all prior Directives remain in full force and effect.
Authorities: Sections 10-3-104, -103, -302, and -305, MCA; §§ 50-1-202, -101, -203, and -204, MCA;
Executive Orders 2-2020 and 3-2020; Montana Constitution, Art. VI, Sections 4 and 13; and all other applicable provisions of state and federal law.
Limitations
 This Directive becomes effective at 5 a.m. on November 20, 2020, and expires at the end of the declared state of emergency in Executive Orders 2-2020 and 3-2020.
 This Directive shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the
availability of appropriations.
 If any provision of this Directive or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, this invalidity does not affect any other provision or application of this Directive, which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application. To achieve this purpose, the provisions of this Directive are declared to be severable.
 Nothing in this Directive shall be construed to limit, modify, or otherwise affect the authority granted by law to the Governor or any department, agency, political subdivision, officer, agent, or employee of the State of Montana, except as provided in this Directive or other Directives now in effect implementing Executive Orders 2-2020 and 3-2020.
 This Directive is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the State of Montana, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

 

To read full article please click below

2020-11-17_Directive on Group Size and Capacity – FINAL

GIVING TUESDAY IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER

Click on the link to view our webpage for #givingtuesday2020

Giving Tuesday is right around the corner and this year, the day of giving, is very important to Good Samaritan Ministries. Due to COVID-19 we have had to forgo our community fundraising events.

The Annual Fashion Show and St. Francis Dinner were our largest events of the year which raised money for our Assistance Account to go directly to helping those in need in the Helena community.

Because of these cancelations, and the current pandemic we are not able to help as many people as we usually can and due to current circumstances, the need for assistance to those struggling has risen exponentially.

By making a small monthly donation you can make a huge impact on someone’s life.

Click the link below or you can text

HELPNEEDS to 44-321

https://secure.givelively.org/donate/good-samaritan-ministries-thrift-store/giving-tuesday-neighbors-helping-neighbors

 

 

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.

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.

Everyone deserves a good life

 

A young lady came to Our Place in need of help, this young lady has struggled with mental health and drug addiction since she was 11 years old. This young lady is making serious decisions with her life, she is six months pregnant and plans on giving the baby up for adoption, she has decided her sobriety is critical for survival. The next struggles are conquering homelessness, and to retain employment.

How do you manage in the world, you do not!

This is where you, our donor comes into changing lives.

The day we met she had been “clean for 60 days” but the struggle and torment to refuse drugs was excruciating as was her mental health.  We connected her with Marvin Coleman, our case manager. He gave her time for her future…help with a resume, job applications, transportation, referral to housing, a food stamp application, Medicaid which were all approved the same day.  He moved mountains for her that day.

 

He then helped her with a Permanent Supportive Housing Voucher application, she was approved and found a home within two weeks, and a job! Staff worked with her for the sustainability of her home and job that both are in walking distance.

Today

120 days off all street drugs, participating in Narcotics Anonymous, established medical care with an OBGYN, and mental health treatment. She stays in contact with her support system at Our Place on a weekly basis.

We are so proud of this young woman and her life today, but her success is because of you and the fact that you care! 

406.442.0780
3067 N. Montana Avenue
Helena, MT 59601

office hours

Monday – Friday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

thrift store hours

Monday – Friday 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Saturday 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Sunday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Loading Dock: OPEN for donations Tuesday & Thursday  8:30-3, and Saturday 9-3.

© 2020 Good Samaritan Ministries. All rights reserved.