A message from Nate – Reflecting on the Merger

Mom and kids

We knew it was ambitious in 2016, planning to create a permanent housing program for Good Samaritan, but our Board had adopted a new strategic plan, and we were committed to achieving our goals. We didn’t know at the time that we would achieve this goal with such speed and intensity, but here we are, two years later. Thanks to our merger with the former Bridge of Hope Lancaster & Chester Counties, we can say “mission almost accomplished!”

At the same time that GSS was working on developing a permanent housing program, BoHLCC was looking for a partner to help carry the load and extend their reach to more families in need in our community. What a blessing that we all came together, and have joined forces for good!

Now, just over eight months into the full and complete merger, it seems a good moment to reflect on how far we have come, and consider how this relationship will continue to unfold.

Mergers occur to develop new efficiencies, and cut away redundant programs and costs. What we have witnessed so far is that all of our programs are essential for the people they serve, and there is truly no redundancy in the work we do. For this reason, above all, we are committed to maintaining the same level of service, and to serve as many people this year as we have in past years in each program.

But what has the merger accomplished so far, particularly? We are on a steady course to achieve the goals for each program in 2018. More than simply maintaining the status quo, however, we are seeing remarkable developments as our programs work together. These include:

  • Helping families from start to finish
  • Expanding the services we can offer
  • Making new relationships & connections
  • Reducing costs

Knowing that you care and knowing how dedicated you have been in your support of Bridge of Hope Lancaster & Chester Counties, I feel it is important to let you know how we are doing, and how the program you love is fairing in this new merged state. For this reason, I am attaching this special report on the results of the merger to date. Our fiscal year has just ended, and soon we will be sending out our Good Samaritan Services annual report. I hope that you can see that this smaller report is a book-end to last year’s news of our merger, and that the first GSS annual report reflects the values and concerns of both organizations.

If you have any thoughts, ideas or questions about how you can continue your support and involvement for our Permanent Housing Program, or for any of the programs of Good Samaritan Services, I hope you will contact me! I have been delighted to connect with so many supporters of BoHLCC, and I hope that our relationship will continue to thrive in the years ahead.

Helping Families from Start to Finish

As a merged organization, Good Samaritan Services is able to help individuals and families with emergency shelter, transitional housing and permanent housing services.

New Relationships & Connections

Our Lancaster City & Coatesville offices received makeovers with the help of our friends at Martin’s Flooring, Alwine Security and Sherwin-Williams – what a marvelous uplift this gave to these spaces, our staff and the many people who come through our doors!

Expanding Services

Now, thanks to our merger, all of our clients are able to take advantage of the programs Good Samaritan Services has to offer. For many years Bridge of Hope Lancaster & Chester Counties have been able to provide donated cars to their clients through the Wheels of Hope.

Similarly, now we can offer our financial stability programs to Permanent Housing Service clients, meaning that matched savings of $600 and micro loans up to $2,000 are now a reality for families in our Lancaster & Coatesville programs.

Reducing our overhead for greater levels of service

By joining forces, we are saving approximately $100,000 annually in insurance, accounting, and operational costs. This means that every $100 donation we receive to run our programs, $6 more is applied directly to services for those in need. Thanks to this bottom line savings, we were able to provide more than $85,000 in rent support to families in our permanent housing programs this past year, and this sort of service is the heart, the backbone, and bottom line of all we do.

With a grateful heart,
Nate Hoffer
GSS CEO