It’s Time to Speak Up

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We need you to stand with Good Sam and give a voice to the voiceless.

Three years ago, there was a widespread community request for a winter shelter for homeless individuals in Ephrata, and Good Sam was asked to provided the much-needed service. Now, the future of our Winter Shelter program is in jeopardy.

During the past three years, we have worked with Ephrata Borough to provide this service by making multiple program adjustments to meet Borough expectations. These included increasing hours of operation, hiring additional program staff, and also applying for and receiving Certificates of Occupancy to lawfully operate the program at churches located within the Borough. Recently, Good Sam has been made aware there is a movement within Borough Council to change the zoning ordinance which allows churches to operate temporary shelters. If this comes to fruition, all future winter shelter programs in Ephrata will be at risk.

Giving a voice to the voiceless is the heart of our mission at Good Sam. We strive to make sure people in the communities we serve are not overlooked.

Homelessness exists in Ephrata, and Good Sam’s Winter Shelter program is an essential need in the community. To take it away is to try to make those it serves disappear. But they are there, they matter, and we must give them a voice. Join us in protecting our Winter Shelter program.

Why the Winter Shelter is at Risk

Threat to Current Zoning Ordinance

There is a new movement within Ephrata Borough Council to change a zoning ordinance which allows churches to host temporary shelters like Good Sam’s Winter Shelter program. This puts the future of our Winter Shelter at risk.

Please note: The temporary Winter Shelter program that Good Sam operates at The Living Room church would be impacted by a potential zoning ordinance change. Good Sam owns multiple properties in the Borough of Ephrata, and the status of those properties are not in jeopardy. 

Why Good Sam Hosts Our Winter Shelter at Partnering Churches in Ephrata Borough

Last year, the Ephrata Borough informed Good Sam that the properties we own would not meet requirements for a Winter Shelter Permit of Occupancy.

Since a current zoning ordinance allows churches to host temporary shelters for up to 60 days per year, we have since hosted the Winter Shelter program at partnering churches to ensure we are lawfully operating our program.

How You Can Help

Show Support at Ephrata Borough Council Meeting:
Monday, February 13 at 7:00pm

  • We would like to have a strong showing at Monday’s meeting to demonstrate to Council that there is tremendous support for a winter shelter program in the community. There is not a vote pertaining to a zoning change happening during this meeting. We ask anyone who is attending in support of the winter shelter to do so with grace and peace.
  • Anyone can attend, but only individuals who live or work at an Ephrata Borough address are allowed up to 3 minutes to speak.
  • Meeting Location: Ephrata Borough Hall, 124 S State St, Ephrata, PA 17522

Send Statement of Support to Ephrata Borough

  • Email a statement of support to Statements will be forwarded to all Borough Council members.
  • Anyone may submit a statement of support, but messages from individuals who live or work in Ephrata Borough carry more weight, so please note if applicable in your email.
  • A Statement of Support Template may be found here. Please feel free to copy and paste this message or send a unique message of your own.


Pray that God oversees our efforts and gives us strength as we to continue showing compassion to those experiencing homelessness and poverty.

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