Vernon’s Story

Vernon is a hardworking, responsible man, who works as a ramp attendant at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and lived in a room he rented at the Christie Hotel in South San Francisco. His world fell apart when the building he lived in went up in flames during an electrical fire. Everything he owned was destroyed by the fire. With no place to go and nothing but the clothes on his back, Vernon was thankful to be alive, but he knew he needed help.

Homelessness was a new concept for Vernon. He had always had a steady job and income, but the financial losses from the fire quickly rendered him without any savings. In partnership with local agencies, Samaritan House was able to place Vernon and other victims displaced by the fire at Safe Harbor Shelter.

Vernon lived at Safe Harbor for six  months while he continued to work and save money to find a new home and to provide financial support for his son who lives with his mother in New York.  Vernon says that of all the things he’s proud of in his life, his son is first among them.

Last month, Vernon’s case manager recommended him for a three year housing subsidy through the San Mateo County Housing Authority. The subsidy was quickly awarded and, with the help of his case manager, he was able to find an apartment he could afford.

He received financial support from Samaritan House for his move-in costs, and he recently received the keys to his new home. On Labor Day weekend, Vernon was filled with pride when his son flew out to visit him and stay with him in his new apartment.  They cooked together, visited the sights of the city and had wonderful time. With a renewed sense of optimism, Vernon is confident that, his future is going to be a bright one!

The League of New Samaritans – Flix Alfresco Event

befunky-collageLast Friday night, in the sleepy little town of San Mateo, on a street like any other, the League of New Samaritans gathered at a secret… cinema! The Leaguers were in for a night of movie magic under the stars and the cinema was well equipped with wine, beer, and hors d’ oeuvres! Laughter escaped out onto the street as The League ate, drank, networked and watched a warm, uplifting film about overcoming adversity.  All proceeds from this event benefit Samaritan House’s Safe Harbor Shelter, which provides more than 32,000 nights of safe, warm sleep for San Mateo County’s homeless each year.

Are you a 21 to 40-something who wants to help your neighbors living in poverty?  If so, join The League of New Samaritans, Samaritan House’s new young professionals group! The League is a group of young people, brought together by a common commitment: to support Samaritan House and all the incredible services and resources they provide to those in need in our community.

All are welcome at The League’s quarterly social events, ranging from happy hours, to picnics, to outdoor movies. Each event provides a great opportunity to learn more about how you can help someone who is hungry, homeless, or without healthcare, while networking, meeting new young professionals in the area, and enjoying an evening out. But, only members are invited to a yearly heroes-only soiree and have access to perks and discounts associated with membership. JOIN NOW!


Membership Levels

Super Samaritan

  • $250/year ($155 is tax-deductible)
  • All Captain Community benefits
  • Free admittance to quarterly open League events

Altruistic All-star

  • $100/year ($65 is tax-deductible)
  • All Captain Community benefits
  • 25% discount to quarterly open League events

Captain Community

  • $50/year ($35 is tax-deductible)
  • Invitation to quarterly open League events
  • Invitation to League-only event
  • Swag
  • Membership card



Contact Lisa Wheeler at 650-523-0809 or for more information.


Follow The League of New Samaritans on Instagram and don’t miss a second of the fun:

Have you ever heard of a Food Pharmacy?

In an innovative collaboration with our partners at Second Harvest food bank, Samaritan House has opened Food Pharmacies at our two Free Healthcare Clinics. Our volunteer physicians write “prescriptions” for low-income patients who 1have diabetes. Then, the patients are able to fill those prescriptions right on-site at our Food Pharmacies. Deepest thanks to Second Harvest Food Bank for keeping both pharmacies stocked with fresh produce and other healthy foods. Our Food Pharmacies are thought to be the first of their kind in California.

Hear about it from the innovators themselves in this excellent interview, now airing on Pen Voice!

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<p><a href=”″>Pen Voice – 253 – Food Pharmacy</a> from <a href=””>Peninsula TV</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a>.</p>

Host Dani Gasparini talks with Bart Charlow, CEO of Samaritan House, and Kathy Jackson, CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank, about their partnership to form a Food Pharmacy.

Medical & Dental Clinics Hours and Operation

Free Clinic of San Mateo
19 W. 39th Ave., San Mateo, CA 94403 Map
Tel: 650-578-0400
Hours by appointment only/initial referral from a Case Manager: Contact at 650-347-3648.
Mon. – Fri. 9 a.m.- 12 p.m. and 1 p.m.- 4 p.m.
Mon evening 6:30 – 9 p.m.
Third Wednesday evening of the month, 7 – 9 p.m.

Free Clinic of Redwood City
114 Fifth Ave., Redwood City, CA 94063 Map
Tel: 650-839-1447
Hours by appointment only/initial prequalification by the Redwood City Medical Clinic Coordinator: Contact at 650-341-4081 ext. 4005.
Mon. – Fri. 9 a.m.- 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 – 5 p.m.
One Wednesday evening per month, 5 – 8:30 p.m.

Samaritan House Participates in AVON 39: the Fight to Crush Breast Cancer!

Avon Logo

1,900 Women and Men conquered 39.3-miles to crush !

IMG_5597A huge thank you and congratulations to everyone who participated in San Francisco’s 14th annual walk.  The event raised a whopping $4.4 million dollars! These funds will help accelerate breast cancer research,  improve access to screenings, diagnosis and treatment, and educate people about breast cancer.

Samaritan House’s Medical Director, Dr. Jason Wong, accepted a check for $376,580, on behalf of Avon’s Western U.S. Breast Health Outreach Programs in Alaska, Arizona, California, Montana and Utah.

The $30,000 that Samaritan House received will support the Samaritan House Breast Care Clinic (SHBCC). The SHBCC reduces barriers to providing uninsured women with access to a continuum of comprehensive, high-quality and timely breast health care services through the provision of education, screening, clinical breast examination (CBE), referrals for free mammography and surgery, and yearly follow-ups. The program utilizes a culturally sensitive and linguistically appropriate intervention strategy that targets low-income uninsured women residing in Central County.

An extra special thank you goes out to a few special Samaritan House staff members who actually participated in the weekend-long event. Amy Hsieh spent her weekend volunteering with the Food Services Crew Team and Jamie Nugent and Christiana Weidanz completed the Walk! It was moving and memorable experience for everyone who participated and the community sincerely appreciates your devotion on behalf of the fight to end breast cancer.

For more information on Samaritan House’s Free Breast Care Clinic, visit: For more information about AVON 39 The , or for additional resources visit

Urgent Need for Backpacks and School Supplies

The number of children signed up for our backpack giveaway has increased and we are urgently seeing Back-to-School backpacks, school supplies, and school shoes! Donate backpacks, school supplies and/or school shoes for 900 local children living in poverty. Giving the gift of a backpack or a pair of shoes may seem like such a simple thing to do, but it can mean the world to a child whose parents may not even be able to pay the rent or pay a utility bill. Your gift will enable a child to walk into a classroom with confidence, the tools they need to be successful in a learning environment and a feeling of belonging with their classmates.

5 Ways You Can Help:

  • Run your own donation drive. We will provide you with a tool kit to help make the drive easy and fun. Start by CLICKING HERE and filling out a drive form.
  • $50 pays for two backpacks filled with supplies. Donate now –>
  • Click here to purchase through the designated 2016 Back-to-School Backpack Drive Wish List on Amazon and have your donation shipped directly to the organization.
  • Donate $15 Payless shoe gift cards
  • Donate backpacks and school supplies11694836_10155939767660195_6683398321018301268_n

Where to bring items?

Donations can be dropped off at to Samaritan House at 4031 Pacific Blvd., San Mateo, CA  94403 3rd floor by Friday, July 29.


For more information, please the “How You Can Help” page on our website: or contact: Carol Laughlin, Director of Volunteers, or Rosie Coleridge, Volunteer Coordinator,

The League of New Samaritans Presents: Summer School at the Office!

Exciting News!

Samaritan House is starting a fun, new initiative for 21 – 40’somethings young professionals called, The League of New Samaritans! Our mission is to activate the next generation by fostering foster social altruism, providing a high-impact network and engaging social opportunities for members as well as support and hope for our San Mateo County neighbors in need.

We would LOVE you to join us at our first official event tomorrow!

Come relive your youthful glory days and indulge your inner child while networking with local young professionals and helping San Mateo County kids in need! Bringing friends/colleagues is encouraged!


  • Tickets: $20 – includes food and one drink ticket
  • Earn extra credit if you bring backpacks, school supplies and/or $15 Payless gift cards – you’ll be entered for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to The Office
  • All donations benefit Samaritan House’s Back-to- School program and help kids in need.

LOCATION: The Office, 1748 El Camino Real, San Carlos, CA 94070

DATE: Wednesday, June 22nd, 6-8 pm


The League of New Samaritans 009

One Request: simply tell your story.

Support Samaritan House in a HUGE way by doing one thing. 

Simply tell your story.

Telling your personal friends and your community about your real life experiences creates a powerful bond. Whether you tell them over dinner or through a social media platform, it can inspire and transform the lives of many of your friends, families and local community members. 
Your stories can motivate your neighbors to get out, volunteer and give back to their community.
Your stories can reassure folks who need help but might be scared or maybe just didn’t know where or how to access the vast variety of services we offer.
Your stories give such a unique perspective, they can motivate everyone, and help the community to understand the huge variety of ways we help to make our community a better place to live for everyone.
Board Members:
Your stories will help to convey the many different ways we work to make San Mateo County a better, more healthy place to live for everyone.
Writing about your experience with Samaritan House is the best way to spread the word. It is a simple act of service that can reach and embolden hundreds of people through our own community. Speaking your truth, in and open and honest way is one of the best and quickest ways to truly transom lives. 
Once you’ve written about your experienced, please SHARE IT EVERYWHERE!

Share your  your stories with our staff! 

Share your stories with your friends!

Share it on our Social Media Pages!

Your writing could be featured on our website and appear as part of our “Community Connections” series. We would absolutely LOVE to hear about what our community has to say. If you’d like us to promote your experience for you, email it to

DO NOT FORGET TO TAG AND CONNECT WITH US on your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts!

We can not wait to hear from you!

AOL Lends a Helping Hand in Transforming Our Community!

IMG_4377THANK YOU to the wonderful team from #AOL who did an amazing job clearing out the San Mateo Clinic, getting it ready for the installation of our new Food Pharmacy. Our friends at @AOL worked really really hard, cleaning both inside and outand even helping with the IMG_4268garden. We are so impressed with your efforts and the transformation you made all in one day. Your work willhelp many people live happier and heather lives. 
Samaritan House is constantly exploring new ways to keep our clients strong, healthy, and on the right path to self sufficiency. Managing diabetes can be difficult for patients with very low incomes.  A healthy lifestyle with nutrient-dense foods can even help to slow the disease’s. Our Food Pharmacies are IMG_3983just one more way we are striving to give our clients everything they need to succeed!
The Food Pharmacy will assist our diabetic patients to manage their illness through diet as well as other therapies. Patients fill their prescriptions for free at an on-site food pantry. The groceries are provided by the Second Harvest Food Bank, and the project receives funding from the Sequoia Healthcare District. For now, clients are IMG_4371encouraged to visit the food pharmacy twice per month, and take enough food each time to feed their entire family for three or four days.

The American Diabetes Association recommends diabetics eat more vegetables, fruit, and IMG_4369lean proteins, and choose whole-grain foods over those made with refined grains or flours. The organization also recommends avoiding excess salt, high calorie snack foods and foods high in saturated or trans fats.


Both of Samaritan House’s clinics, the Redwood City Clinic and the San Mateo Free Clinic, serves patients who are uninsured. To become a client, phone (650) 839-1447 or visit

Thank You Appelblom Jewelry Co!

Last night was the wonderful Bubbles & Baubles Event at Appelblom Jewelry Co! Appelblom Jewelry Co generously hosted an exclusive champagne and jewelry party, which served as of one Samaritan House’s Pay-to-Plays at this year’s Main Event. The evening sparkeled as guests had a blast as they indulged in delectable bubbles and explored in search of the perfect gem. During this exclusive event, Appelblom Jewelry Co generously raffled a $300 gift certificate AND a beautiful piece of antique jewelry! In addition, Appelblom gave each guest a 25% discount card from Appelblom Jewelry Co. as well as a surprise gift!

Appelblom Jewelry Co is San Mateo’s premier jeweler of custom, vintage, fine gold and diamonds. They offer a wide range of unique, antique and handmade pieces. Visit to learn more!

Thank you, Appelblom, for supporting Samaritan House and the Main Event!




Congratulations, Silicon Valley!

You’d be surprised what a difference 24 hours can make! Yesterday was Silicon Valley Gives Day (SV Gives) – a regional, online day of giving hosted by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. The aim is to inspire and unite our community to support local philanthropic causes. This year, SV Gives was a huge success for Samaritan House! With your help, we raised a whopping $16,940, including generous matching grants from Donald and Janice Elliott and Kurt and Beth von Emster!

Total Impact:

Overall, 18,159 individuals gave $7,853,781 to more than 1,000 nonprofits across the Bay Area in 24 hours!

Here’s a breakdown of where the funds went:Chrome Legacy Window 542016 122151 PM.bmpLet’s Keep Giving!

Though the day of giving is over, you can still support your community by donating directly to Samaritan House at any time of year. You can even choose to have your donation go to whichever of our programs is closest to your heart – food, housing, shelter, healthcare, or wherever it’s most needed. Every gift, no matter the size, helps to strengthen Samaritan House and the community you call your own.

To make a donation online, visit: