Community Collaborations at Safe Harbor Shelter

Staff at our annual Employee Appreciation Luncheon in January
Staff at our annual Employee Appreciation Luncheon in January (From Left – Kat, Eric, Precious, Laura, Salina, Gerald, Kenny, Cory, & Anje)

Samaritan House is committed to providing programs and services at Safe Harbor to meet the critical needs of those most at-risk in our community. As the 2013 San Mateo County Homeless Census and Survey illustrates, the problem of homelessness in our area continues to grow even as the local economy recovers.

Since 2011, the number of individuals living without shelter has risen 12%, according to a report released by the county’s human services agency. (view the report here) The January census counted 1,298 people living on county streets, inside vehicles or in makeshift encampments. That’s 136 more people than the 1,162 tallied just two years ago.

Sign-(web)It is this need for emergency shelter and transitional support that make the need for our Safe Harbor Shelter so profound.

Samaritan House is truly an organization of Neighbor Helping Neighbor, and we could not operate without our community’s support. We appreciate the partnerships and relationships we share with the many faith-based organizations, professional associations, schools, clubs, government, and community organizations who generously provide donations and volunteer in our shelter throughout the year.

A number of organizations and businesses have donated their time, talents, and resources to our shelter in the past year:

• The County of San Mateo’s Behavioral Health and Recovery Services continues to provide weekly intake assessments and ongoing case management services for Safe Harbor clients.

• Safe Harbor clients receive free, weekly, on- site dental services from the Mobile Dental Clinic run by the San Mateo Medical Center.

• The Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County conducts once-a-month sessions educating clients about various public health and assistance programs.

• Around the holidays this past year, several local organizations – including First Presbyterian Church, Millbrae Bible Church, Lion’s Club, the South City Fire Department, and United Airlines – held special events and conducted drives to benefit the shelter.

Are you or your community service group interested in volunteering or organizing a donation drive for our shelter? Please contact us to see how we can assist. With your help, we can continue to provide a safe and supportive environment where our shelter residents can focus on building brighter futures.

Dinner at the Westside Church

According to a report by Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business and Second Harvest Food Bank, 1 in 4 individuals in San Mateo County is at-risk for hunger. This figure is higher than the national average of 1 in 6. (San Mateo County Hunger Index).

Our dining room located in downtown San Mateo is our attempt to address the missing meals that confront families in our area. In this video, our Dining Hall Manager, Mario Cousenes, talks about who visits our dining hall and what this service means to the individuals he sees every week.

Your donations make a difference! A contribution of $100 will provide 35 meals for families in need at our dining room. Make your secure online donation today.  

Financial empowerment classes in action

FinanceClasses

A great picture of one of our financial empowerment clients taken last week after she opened her first credit union account!

Samaritan House is now offering one-on-one financial coaching classes to help our clients learn about ways to minimize debt, build savings, & improve credit scores. We will provide opportunities for clients (and low income staff) to obtain pro-bono, one-on-one financial coaching through Sage Financial Solutions & our in- house Financial Empowerment Coach.

Our goal is to help navigate our Samaritan House clients:

  • Feel self-empowerment & self-directed
  • Live poverty-free and equip them with financial knowledge and tools
  • Create long-term, financially responsible habits – coaching will create this foundation to coach the person not the issue
  • Empower client to build personal and financial goals while holding them accountable

This is just one of the ways Samaritan House is working to help families build their level of self-sufficiency & build brighter futures!