Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Fwd: Gehman Mennonite Church, We Have An Important Program Update To Share!

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Good Samaritan Services <nate@goodsamservices.org>
Date: Tue, Sep 10, 2019 at 9:59 AM
Subject: Gehman Mennonite Church, We Have An Important Program Update To Share!
To: <info@gehmanmennonitechurch.org>

Dear Gehman Mennonite Church,

I have a very important update to share with you which will positively affect our ability to transform lives and grow as a ministry. 

When Bridge of Hope Lancaster & Chester Counties merged with Good Samaritan Shelter in December 2017, it created a unique organization able to provide a continuum of services to individuals and families experiencing homelessness. Good Samaritan Services assists men, women and children on their transition towards stability, providing full care and support, from emergency shelter to permanent housing. 

As a result of the merger, we are having a deeper and more profound impact in our communities. The participants we serve are now benefiting from programs our organizations previously offered separately. Impactful services like our Microloan Program, Matched Savings Program and Job Training Program are now being offered to all Good Sam participants. In addition, we have invested more money in rental assistance to the individuals and families we serve in Permanent Housing Services (formerly Bridge of Hope Lancaster & Chester Counties).

But we want to do more.

We want to expand our services and change more lives, keeping our Christian faith central to all we do. In our Permanent Housing Services, we want to serve individual men and women – and single fathers and their children as well as single mothers and their children. We want to be flexible, adaptable and deliver a customized approach to helping every person we serve. We want to take chances on people who are in desperate need, and serve the most vulnerable members of our communities.

It is difficult to achieve these aspirations and goals while trying to implement a structured and limiting program model. 

In order to respond to the needs of our participants, it is in the best interest of Good Samaritan Services to separate from the umbrella organization, Bridge of Hope National, as a Bridge of Hope program site. This means that Good Samaritan Services will no longer be tied to any particular model or program. It is the same reason why only three percent of our revenue comes from government sources. As a supporter of Good Samaritan Services, it is important for you to know that we will always do what is best for our participant. And usually what is best for the participant is meeting them where they are and offering an array of services that best supports them, rather than working to have everyone follow the same path (or formula) to stability.

Everyone's journey to self-sufficiency looks different. Being on the front lines of serving the homeless population, this is clear to us.

Our Permanent Housing Services will continue to provide its core services: rental assistance, partnering with mentoring groups from local churches, providing professional case management services, and much, much more. 

All of us at Good Samaritan Services are abundantly excited for our renewed focus and direction. We have spent a lot of time praying, planning and casting a vision for the future of our organization, and we are confident we will have a greater impact.

We are moving forward with faith and optimism. We are using all of our resources – including highly professional and compassionate staff – to assist anyone in Lancaster County and Chester County who is experiencing homelessness or the threat of homelessness. 

Your donation to Good Samaritan Services today creates a better future for an individual or family experiencing homelessness. Your gift makes it possible for us to respond to the needs of the most vulnerable members of our community.   

Thank you for the tremendous support that you have given to us, in HIS name, to those who are seeking a home and financial stability.

With Gratitude,
Nate Hoffer
Chief Executive Officer
Frequently Asked Questions
In anticipation of any questions you may have, here are a few key Q&A's; and of course we welcome your call, email or letter if you would like to discuss this further.

1. Why are you separating from Bridge of Hope National?
After nearly two years together, we have seen how the combined strengths of both Good Samaritan Shelter and Bridge of Hope Lancaster & Chester Counties have helped us to serve some of the most vulnerable people in our communities. We are now seeing how, together, we can do even more. In order to do more, we realize we must be more flexible and adaptive, to provide a customized approach to the participants we serve. We admire the intentions and accomplishments of Bridge of Hope National in seeking to help single mothers and children in a very specific way, but believe that its model does not lend itself to the flexibility and customized approach in which we need. 

2. How did this decision come about?

It was initiated by the desire to expand services beyond the Bridge of Hope model. The Board of Directors of Good Samaritan Services, which includes many former board members from Bridge of Hope Lancaster and Chester Counties, created a special task force to assess the benefit of being a Bridge of Hope program site. After a thorough analysis, the task force made the recommendation to the Board of Directors to officially end our relationship with Bridge of Hope National. The Board of Directors, by a unanimous decision, voted to separate from Bridge of Hope National.

3. Will any of the programs or services be changing?
Not at all! Good Samaritan Services will continue providing all of the same programs and services we always have in our efforts to play a leading role in ending and preventing homelessness in our communities. These include:

  • Emergency Shelter
  • Transitional Housing
  • Affordable Housing
  • Permanent Housing
  • Case Management
  • Rental Assistance
  • Mentoring Groups from Local Churches
  • Job Training Program
  • Microloan Program
  • Matched Savings Program
  • Parenting Classes
  • Scholarships for Education
  • Wheels of Hope (car donation program)
  • Food and Supplies
  • Emergency Cash Assistance

4. Are you no longer working with churches to offer mentoring groups to your participants?  

We have always had strong partnerships with churches and we place a high value in inviting people to live out their faith by serving as mentors for our participants. This will never change. In fact, we recently formed several partnerships with churches to provide housing and mentoring teams for families in our Permanent Housing Program. 

If you have other questions or concerns, please feel free to call or email Nate Hoffer (717-394-7707 x1001 // nate@goodsamservices.org).
Connect with us on social media so you
do not miss any updates:
Women's Shelter 
PO Box 756
Ephrata, Pennsylvania 17522
T 717-733-3395 F 610-917-9815

Permanent Housing Services
T 717-394-7707 
Men's Shelter 
141 E. High Street, PO Box 551
Phoenixville, Pennsylvania 19460
T 610-933-9305 F 610-917-9815

Permanent Housing Services
 T 610-380-1360