Novelist Paul Auster wrote that the best one can do in life is to “leave the world a little better than you found it.” On May 24th, after 12 years at Samaritan House – 11 of those serving as our Executive Director – Kitty Lopez will leave our organization in many ways a better, more established agency than when she arrived here over a decade ago.
During Kitty’s tenure, Samaritan House has expanded its range and depth of services to provide much needed resources to over 12,000 low-income individuals every year. Kitty oversaw several key organizational projects and achievements during her time as our leader, these include:
• The completion of a $6 million Capital Campaign for Samaritan House’s main offices, kitchen, and Kids’ Closet at Pacific Blvd, and the remodel of our Free Medical and Dental Clinic in San Mateo
• The opening of our second free Medical and Dental Clinic in Redwood City in collaboration with the Sequoia Healthcare District
• The remodel and improvements made to Safe Harbor Shelter
• A growth of agency revenue from $2.5M in 2002 to $8.5M in 2013
• Funding for the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP) offered by our client service department. This was accomplished in 2008 as the recession peaked and funding for homelessness prevention and housing assistance programs was crucial for families struggling through financial hardships.
These are impressive achievements in an organization that provides a diversity of much needed services. For almost four decades, Samaritan House has been a strong presence in San Mateo County, providing a safety-net for our low-income neighbors so that they can build a happier and brighter future.
Kitty leaves the organization to reunite with her passion for working with children and focusing on education. Before coming to Samaritan House, Kitty taught kindergarten, 2nd grade, and high school in regular and special education in the Bay Area and in Santa Barbara, California. Her passion for Samaritan House’s mission, positive attitude, and strong leadership will be missed. As our Board President Patty Hsiu explained, “Samaritan House is an organization that helps and engages so many in our community… This will absolutely continue as we go through the bittersweet transition of seeing Kitty off to opportunity to do even more good for our neighborhood.”
We will miss Kitty but we appreciate the time and wisdom she shared with us during her time here. As an organization, we look upon this transition as a time of opportunity for the agency. We look forward to building upon our successes and furthering our mission in the community – helping our neighbors in need.
Click here to watch our video from the Main Event – Kitty bids Farewell to the Agency