Good Samaritan Services’s Winter Shelter was an enormous collaborative effort from the Lancaster County community, and we are thrilled to report on its success. Between December 1st, 2020, and March 16th, 2021, Good Sam was able to provide 781 nights of shelter, over 1,500 meals, and continued support to those who utilized our facility.
This project was only a success because of how invested our entire community became. One incredible gift was given by a Lancaster local foundation, The Steinman Foundation. Good Sam was graciously chosen by The Steinman Foundation to receive a $10,000 grant in support of our Winter Shelter program.
The Steinman Foundation is a private foundation with a mission to improve the quality of life in, and the communities that comprise, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Since its inception, the Foundation has been supported by LNP Media Group, Inc. as well as other operating companies within the Steinman Communications enterprise. Over the last 70 years, more than $100 million in grants have been funded for hundreds of charitable organizations with clear statements of purpose, well-defined programs, and strong and competent leadership.
Typically, funding from the Steinman Foundation takes anywhere from six to ten months, but the circumstances thrust upon our community by COVID-19 inspired some changes. The SF board recognized they didn’t know how bad the pandemic would become, so they swiftly created a $500,000 discretionary fund for COVID relief.
“This discretionary fund allowed us to respond to the needs of the community as they were. Because we were able to do COVID response differently, we were able to reach out to organizations we saw doing good work in supporting the community and partner with them,” said Foundation Outreach Coordinator, Olivia Walters.
One of the aspects of Good Sam’s Winter Shelter program that attracted The Steinman Foundation’s support was our unique approach to emergency housing. “It was so refreshing and encouraging. The thoughtfulness that Good Sam had put into the plan was amazing,” says Olivia, “So many things about it make sense. It’s in a residential neighborhood. There’s a lot of humanity and dignity in that.”
Good Sam is thankful for the opportunity to partner with The Steinman Foundation to pursue bettering the lives of individuals in Lancaster County and doing so in a dignified and empowering fashion.
The Winter Shelter program has not only been successful in its service, but it has also proven to be a financial success. One of Good Sam’s core values is Stewardship, and we pride ourselves on making sure we utilize our funding in the most responsible and effective ways. Before our Winter Shelter opened, churches and organizations like Good Sam would spend hundreds of dollars a night on hotel lodging for individuals experiencing homelessness. Without this new program in place, Good Sam and other community support agencies would have had to spend an additional $40,000 to provide shelter alone. Now, with our new facility, we are able to provide lodging, food, resources, referrals, and short-term case management (if desired) for about $50 a night per participant.
If YOU would like to help support our efforts for next winter, a donation of $50 can provide a night of services, 2 warm meals, and access to laundry services for one individual!
Thank you to some of the other partners who helped make the Good Sam Winter Shelter a success!