Published May 24, 2019

It is with great sadness that we share news of the passing of John Kelly, “Father of Samaritan House”, and our Executive Director from 1985 to 1999. John’s devotion to helping others is in our bones, as an organization. We always strive to embody the values he instilled in us and will continue to do so, in his honor.

To know John Kelly was to love him. He inspired the best in us. John knew how to gather good people to do good work, even if we didn’t know it ourselves. He was the genuine article and he loved what we have been doing with Samaritan House. He gave his life; saying he ‘spent’ it would be very wrong. He left this world better than he found it, for sure. He was a truly GOOD man.

Bart Charlow, Samaritan House CEO

John Kelly, Father of Samaritan House

Probably the greatest thing that ever happened to me was being able to know people who don't seem to be making it, and to realize what a high degree of goodness there is in people, regardless of their station in life.

John Kelly

To read more about John Kelly’s impact, check out