After eight years leading Samaritan House in the fight against poverty, our CEO, Bart Charlow, has announced his retirement. Bart is the epitome of a good leader – visionary, compassionate, fair, a good communicator, and dedicated to his work, employees and the clients served by Samaritan House. When he was first recruited to join the organization, Bart said “I just have to come work with these folks,” and we’re so glad that he did.

Bart led the organization through some of the most challenging times in its history, and thanks to his leadership, we became a stronger organization: we expanded to serve more than 2,500,000 meals a year; now offer 44,120 nights of safe shelter annually; increased donations by 100 percent, and doubled the numbers of volunteers. Some of Bart’s notable accomplishments include:

  • Adding pioneering services to the clinics, including the first two food pharmacies in California
  • Launching the first medical respite service in a homeless shelter in the County
  • Adding mental health services to our clinics
  • Managing the organization’s Covid response that:
    • Doubled food services
    • Quintupled case management and financial assistance
    • Supported more than $115M in funding during the Covid emergency
    • Nearly doubled direct service capacity to 25,000 individuals
    • Managed temporary operations of four additional shelter programs during the Covid emergency that resulted in a tripling of homeless shelter capacity

The list goes on and on. Needless to say, Bart has had an enormous and positive impact on Samaritan House. The board has launched an executive search for the next CEO. Bart has graciously offered to stay on until the end of the year and to help orient the new CEO, ensuring a seamless transition for everyone involved.

Bart Charlow Community Heart Fund

The Board and Advisory Council have established the Bart Charlow Community Heart Fund in Bart’s honor. This fund is a special one-time effort designed to honor Bart’s leadership as CEO of Samaritan House and his commitment to serving elevated levels of need through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. All gifts will support our current heightened levels of service, as we see peak pandemic levels of need once again.

Creating this fund to serve our community, while honoring our fearless leader, seems the perfect way to send Bart off into retirement and continue his legacy of giving back. If you would like to join us in making a gift, please feel free to do so here. All donors will be added to a special plaque presented to Bart upon his retirement.

We will miss Bart’s warm leadership style, sense of humor and commitment to the clients we serve, and wish him the best in his well-deserved retirement. If you’re looking for Bart in retirement, you will find him painting along the San Mateo County coastline. Thank you for everything, Bart – we will miss you!