Agency History Pt. 2 – John Kelly “Father of Samaritan House”

John-Kelly
“If there is a serious need in the community that no one is currently meeting, then Samaritan House will address it.” John Kelly, Exec. Director from 1985-1999

In honor of Samaritan House’s 40th Anniversary in 2014, a brief glimpse back at the people who made our role as a leading social service agency in the county possible.

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In 1985, John Kelly assumed the role of Executive Director of Samaritan House and through his leadership, helped transform the agency. A San Francisco native, John earned a Master’s Degree in Theology from the University of Notre Dame and a Master’s Degree in Psychology from Berkeley’s Graduate Theological Union. Prior to coming to our agency, John spent 25 years as a Catholic priest (thus earning the name “Father of Samaritan House”) and nearly two decades teaching at Serra and Menlo Atherton High Schools.

1987-group
Ground breaking ceremony in 1987 for a new location at 401 N. Humboldt St. (left to right: John Kelly, ED; Evelyn Taylor, Board President; Mary Griffin, SM Cty Supervisors; Paul Gumbinger, SM City Council; Russ Pitto, Building Advisor)

Under John’s guidance and in response to the growing needs of the community, Samaritan House widened its breadth of services and transformed from an agency that provided referrals to an agency that provided services. Upon his retirement in 1999, John recounted his time with our organization and spoke of his philosophy for providing service to the community, which was simply: if there is a serious need in the community that no one is currently meeting, then Samaritan House will address it.

During this time, Samaritan House also became a Core Service Center for San Mateo County, helping bridge the gap between the needs of the community and public and private aid. Today, we continue to work with this network of Core Agencies that provide San Mateo County residents with information and referrals, emergency assistance, case management, food and clothing vouchers, and many other services.

 

Holiday Program Highlights – 2013

2013 Holiday Highlights

With the help of our volunteers & donors, we were able to help over 1035 families have a brighter holiday season!

Some highlights to come out of the holiday program this past year:

FoodFood Distribution: special food distributions during November & December provided groceries – like fresh fruits & veggies, canned goods, hams and turkeys- to 3,894 individuals

 

 

 

 

 

Toy

Toy Shoppe: 1,422 children picked out stuffed animals, games, educational toy, and books that were donated from groups, service clubs, and individual donors from around the community

 

 

 

 

 

FamilyFamily Sharing Program: 110 family sharing program donors – including individuals, families, church and civic groups, businesses, Scout  and after school programs – provided food and gifts for 193 families and seniors

 

 

 

 

All of this was made possible with the caring and sharing of so many donors in our community and the 1,179 volunteers who came together to hand out toys, food, and help clients pick warm coats. Thank you to all those who support our holiday program every year!

Remember Samaritan House on Giving Tuesday

 

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We couldn’t have accomplished so much this year without supporters like you! As we begin to plan our holiday distributions for families in need, we’ve joined the #GivingTuesday movement, an annual campaign created to promote a national day of giving at the start of the holiday season to celebrate organizations like Samaritan House that make our community a better place.

 

From food to shelter to financial empowerment and more, Samaritan House invites you to help support the work we do.

 

Remember us on Giving Tuesday and visit our donation page to make your contribution.

Notice to clients & volunteers of new space for dining room

Mario
Dining Room Manager, Mario Cousenes, November 12th during dinner service from the King Center.

 

Please Note: Beginning November 12, 2013, Samaritan House’s Dining Room will relocate from Westside Church of Christ in San Mateo to a new, temporary location at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center, located at 725 Monte Diablo Avenue.

 

 

 

• Last day of dinner services at Westside Church will be Friday, November 8th

• Dinners will be served from the King Center through January 2014

• Meals served from the new location will be wrapped, to-go meals rather than sit-down dinners

• Volunteers will be asked to come to our Samaritan House kitchen between 3-3:30pm each day to help with meal preparation as well as help distribute at the King Center between 5 and 6pm

We will continue to keep clients and volunteers informed about our location for the dining room after January. Questions or concerns: please contact Samaritan House at 650-341-4081. Thank you for your understanding and support!

 

Volunteer Spotlight – Pantry Volunteers

One of the many services provided by Samaritan House, our food pantry is a vibrant and highly utilized space which exemplifies our community’s strong support of our mission.

Over 21,000 bags of groceries are distributed through our pantry every year. The pantry runs efficiently with the help of our volunteers, who sort and help with food distribution 5 days a week.

In this video, Ana Maria Jackson & Paula Corona, volunteers for over 10 years in our pantry, talk about their experience with clients and the community.

Helping families. One client at a time.

“There is no greater joy, nor greater reward than to make a fundamental difference in someone’s life.” Mary Rose McGeady, philanthropist

In this short video created for our food service program, Samaritan House’s client service supervisor Robyn Fischer shares her insights on why our food assistance program is such an important asset to our low-income client families.

During the month of June, our client service department had over 600 client visits. Clients who visited our office we helped through the diverse range of services we offer to help eligible families. Our client service staff are trained to evaluate each individual or family to properly assess their needs, connect them with the resources they need, and help them develop a long-term plan towards self-sufficiency. Individuals in need are provided with important resources – like food and clothing vouchers, and rental assistance – and referrals to other local agencies.

It is this care and concern for each of our clients that makes Samaritan House and all our case managers such an incredible resource to our community. If you are in need of assistance, please contact us to see how we can help.