Good Samaritan Services, a nonprofit based in Chester County and Lancaster County that provides emergency shelter and transitional and permanent housing for those experiencing homelessness, is honoring its long-time leadership by funding long-term housing.
To honor the 10th anniversary of CEO Nate Hoffer’s leadership at GSS, its board and staff have launched a campaign to fund permanent housing rental assistance for the organization’s Bridge of Hope @ GSS program.
GSS – under the banner “It’s Good to Be Home!” – is reaching out to businesses, churches, schools, community groups, and individuals to make donations or set up fundraising teams to help avert eviction and homelessness for single women with children in Chester and Lancaster counties.
“Just $23 a day covers the cost of housing a family through the Good Samaritan Services’ permanent housing program,” said Hoffer. “We know that the cost of keeping a family in their home is so much less than getting them off the street and into a shelter. And beyond the financial cost, there is an emotional and mental health cost savings by helping moms and children stay in their homes.”
When Hoffer was appointed as leader of GSS 10 years ago, the organization had three houses and served around 15 homeless men in emergency shelter and transitional housing in a year. Now, GSS serves more than 185 men, women, and children every year, working across the spectrum of needs, from emergency shelter and transitional housing to long-term affordable housing and permanent housing, with additional programs like matched savings, micro-finance, mentoring, and job training.
“Once a family is in the GSS program, we work as if we are EMTs,” said Hoffer. “We do triage, addressing the crisis in housing before all else. Our first action is to provide rental assistance, paying back rent and creating a plan to address the shortfall in rent, so that the family has security moving forward.
“From there, our family resource coordinators help to assess family stability, working together to find out what led to the crisis, and then develop a plan focusing on life-skills development, financial literacy, job training, parenting, transportation, and health.
“But it all starts with being able to provide rental assistance to keep each family under their roof, which is why we are calling this campaign ‘It’s Good to Be Home!’”
Click here to learn more about the campaign.