Samaritan House is San Mateo County’s leading anti-poverty organization


San Mateo, CA (January 17, 2023) – The Samaritan House board of directors is pleased to announce that Laura Bent has accepted the position of CEO after an exhaustive monthslong executive search process. Bent has been an executive leader for more than 20 years in the non-profit human services industry, and has served as Samaritan House’s chief operating officer since 2011. She will replace Bart Charlow, who announced his retirement in late 2022 after eight years as CEO.


“I am extremely excited to welcome Laura as our new CEO” said Cliff Robbins, president of the Samaritan House Board of Directors. “The board conducted a robust search, meeting with a number of excellent candidates, and Laura proved her capability and fit throughout this rigorous process. During her years as a senior member of the management team, Laura has shown that she gets things done. With her demonstrated energy, knowledge of the community, depth of experience, and compassion, we knew Laura was the right person to carry the flag forward.”


During her tenure as Samaritan House COO, Bent managed overall programs, facilities and organizational impact, leading a team of more than 120 employees, which doubled in size since she joined the organization. Working with organizational leadership, she grew Samaritan House’s programs and services, resulting in 16 new programs/services as well as the organization’s ability to serve more than 25,000 people, a 100 percent increase. Bent is a familiar face in San Mateo County, serving on more than 30 committees and task forces as a thought leader for anti-poverty efforts and programs. Prior to Samaritan House, Bent held executive leadership positions with YMCA of San Francisco.


“I am overjoyed to be the new CEO of Samaritan House,” said Bent. “We have more people coming to us for services than ever before. My vision is to grow the organization and expand the programs and services that we offer so that in addition to acute crisis prevention, we are also able to help clients lift themselves out of poverty for the long term.”


Samaritan House combines access to food, clothing, housing, and health care with personalized case management to give clients a way to combat all the pressures of poverty that they face. From March 2021 to June 2022, Samaritan House provided more than 2.5 million meals and 44,000 nights of safe sleep, and supported the delivery of more than $115 million in financial relief to keep people in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.


About Samaritan House
For nearly 50 years, Samaritan House has been leading the fight against poverty in San Mateo County. We are the only organization that delivers the full breadth of essential services and personalized support to the working poor. By ensuring our clients are fed, clothed, healthy, and housed, we help them create their own stability and remain an active, successful part of our community. After all, an enduring community is only possible when every person has the resources they need to live. That’s why Samaritan House brings together individuals, companies, schools, faith-based and other organizations to provide free services that empower our neighbors. We are dedicated to Fighting poverty. Lifting lives.