Most organizations look for milestones and landmarks when they set off in a new direction. We all want assurance that we are heading in the right direction. Last year the boards of Good Samaritan Shelter and Bridge of Hope of Chester and Lancaster County decided to explore a new path of collaboration, and ultimately they decided to take a new route, join forces and create a new organization, Good Samaritan Services.
And they have just received great news, a real sign that this collaboration is a significant step in the right direction. Last fall, Good Samaritan Services was nominated for the Central Pennsylvania Business Journal’s Innovation Award for Collaboration, and in late January they learned that they have been named a finalist for the award!
Nate Hoffer, CEO of Good Samaritan Services is rhapsodic at the news. “Hearing that we are a finalist for the CPBJ Innovation Award is the sort of endorsement we love! We already know from the families and individuals whom we serve that we are doing needed work, but to get an objective assessment from the larger community, is especially encouraging!
“Not only does such news serve as confirmation that we our path is sound, but it also helps us tell our story to a larger audience. – In these times we need to reach as many people as we can to be sure that they know of our enhanced mission. We are so proud of being a leading source of hope and help to people facing homelessness in Chester and Lancaster Counties! We work across the spectrum of need to insure that our community thrives. Offering emergency shelter, transitional housing, long-term and permanent housing, with the support of hundreds of people like you, we are feeding, sheltering and creating permanent housing for 181 men, women and children every day of the year. And that good news is getting out! “
In April Good Samaritan Services will learn if they are the recipient of this year’s CPBJ Innovation Award. But, Hoffer concludes, “really, already we have faith and assurance that that we are transforming the lives of hundreds of families and individuals, achieving great things, doing great work. We see it in the faces of the families we work with, the children who come through our doors with the burden of fear and displacement lifted.
“We are fortunate to do this work, and grateful to share the journey with so many friends, volunteers and supporters.”
Since its successful merger with Bridge of Hope of Chester and Lancaster County on December 1 of last year, Good Samaritan Services now serves close to 200 men, women and children every day in shelter and housing programs while at the same time saving on administrative costs. In addition to emergency shelter, transitional housing and long-term affordable housing, the organization provides rental assistance, financial stabilization, employment services, mentoring, parenting classes and family-building services.
All four office locations remain open: two in Chester County – Phoenixville and Coatesville; and two in Lancaster County – the City of Lancaster and Ephrata. In addition, all Bridge of Hope Lancaster & Chester County staff have remained in place, joining together with Good Samaritan Services staff.
“This merger has brought together two non-profits whose missions, Christian foundations and geographies are similar. What previously set us apart was our range of services. It truly is a cause for celebration because together we are now reaching out and embracing our neighbors in new ways, offering hope, homes and eventually independence to those experiencing homelessness,” added Hoffer.