I am often asked, “How do we solve the issue of homelessness?” During my years of working with homeless families and individuals, I have learned there is no “silver bullet” or single solution to solving this complex issue. If there were, we would have used it to solve this problem!
Helping people experiencing homelessness takes a collaborative effort. The more people involved with this issue, the better. City government, neighbors, businesses, other service providers, the faith community, and volunteers all make solutions happen. Partners who are in this with us are invaluable in helping people become productive, self-sufficient citizens.
This year marks our 35th year of serving people. As an organization, we’ve learned that people experiencing homelessness have needs that are ever-changing. Of course, there are some basic needs that will forever remain the same—food, shelter, and safety. But as factors such as North Texas’ housing market, the nationwide opioid epidemic, and family homelessness become more complex, the faces of homelessness are beginning to change, and so too do the needs.
This annual impact report celebrates what we (all of us) have accomplished together in this critical work—each one making a contribution to the whole—moving people out of poverty and homelessness.
“Helping people experiencing homelessness takes a collaborative effort. The more people involved with this issue, the better.”
More than anything, this annual report tells our story in 2018, and that story has been written because you took the time to give, volunteer, and share the work that we do. And that work is not possible without you. Thank you for being a part of our story and for making it possible for the people we serve to find a path home. Thank you for supporting our mission in 2018!
Nights with the lights on
Residents successfully complete the program
In June of 2018, a woman by the name of Ann arrived at The Inn with $130 to her name, two children, and a cute little dog named Zeus. Ann was unemployed, having recently lost her job in Missouri and relocated to Texas. With school background in executive administration, Ann was hopeful for a quick turnaround regarding employment. It would be needed to combat the accrued debt surrounding past medical bills and an eviction. Sadly, the turnaround took longer than anticipated.
Ann worked hard from day one. She attended classes—parenting, financial, job readiness—along with her Caseworker meetings and counseling sessions. Ann maintained contact and open communication with the entire team supporting her, ensuring that she and her children had all their needs met without becoming dependent upon The Inn. She greatly appreciated the support she received, but never compromised her independence. Ann sought to utilize all The Inn had to offer as a guidebook for resetting her life forward.
[Ann] greatly appreciated the support she received, but never compromised her independence. Ann sought to utilize all The Inn had to offer as a guidebook for resetting her life forward.
As jobs continued to go from one part-time position to another, Ann never gave up. She worked toward certifications for IT work, kept in constant communication with our Career Development Coordinator about possible openings, and made strides forward with each move … increasing hours here, making $1 more there. She did all this while seeing her kids return to their dad at the end of summer. Joint custody can often be overwhelming and stressful. Although Ann did nothing wrong, the emotional tug surrounding split families can be hard to handle for many. It may have been saddening to return to seeing them every other weekend and on special visits, but it did not slow Ann down.
Finally, in September, the employment ladder climb paid off! Ann secured a full-time job making over $19/hour. She had already used the previous jobs to pay toward vehicle repairs, reducing her debt, and slowly building her savings. Now with this job, Ann could really save. Her gears shifted to the next stage of finding a more permanent home. Her son turned 18 years old, and chose to return to The Inn and live with his mom while finishing school. Mom secured him a low-cost vehicle so he could work too, passing down a valuable work ethic and mindset for success. It wouldn’t be long before they all said goodbye, as long as she could find a place that was pet-friendly.
Ann had already proven that her drive to succeed produced results, so it was no surprise when she announced that she had secured housing by early December. The best part? Zeus was going too! During all of this, Zeus had been her emotional constant and Ann could not wait to be able to snuggle in with him again at night and wake up to his morning kisses. Zeus had wiggled his way into the hearts of the staff, the vet who provides The Inn’s veterinary services, and every lucky person who toured the facility and got to see his smiling face. This graduation full of love was yet another testament to the power of self-determination, perseverance, and the support of The Samaritan Inn!
Referred out to other organizations
The Samaritan Inn is more than just a homeless shelter; it is a transitional living facility that focuses on enhancing the lives of residents through case management, financial literacy, counseling, and career development services. The mission of The Inn is to assist willing individuals in gaining dignity and overall independence. Olivia is an excellent example of how our program facilitates the transformation of residents who are willing and able to work the program effectively.
Olivia entered The Samaritan Inn with her five-year-old daughter after losing her job due to transportation challenges. Olivia lacked financial resources for necessary car repairs, and was unable to commute daily to her place of employment. Due to Olivia’s job loss, she was unable to continue paying rent and was evicted from her apartment. Before becoming a resident at The Inn, Olivia oscillated between sleeping in a rental car and temporary stays at local hotels. Her financial situation spiraled out of control until she had exhausted every resource available … it was then that she entered the shelter.
“The Inn helped me when I needed it most and gave me the tools I needed to regain my independence. For that, I will always be grateful.”
When we first met Olivia her stress and anxiety levels were quite high; however, with the comfort of having a place to stay she could finally begin to relax. At her first meeting with her caseworker, Olivia expressed her willingness to set clear and specific goals and work efficiently to obtain them. She was faithful in attending all of her appointments with both her counselor and Career Development Coordinator—never missing an opportunity to overcome the obstacles that led to homelessness.
It wasn’t long after starting the program that Olivia gained employment and was able to build and maintain a savings account effectively. Due to her lack of personal transportation, she utilized Uber as well as other methods of transportation to commute back and forth to work. Olivia’s dedication to the program did not go unnoticed by staff, and when one of our generous community members donated a vehicle, it was quickly decided that Olivia would be the recipient. That donation had a huge impact on Olivia! Having her own vehicle allowed Olivia to commute to work daily without depending on outside help, take her daughter to local activities, and regain some additional independence. Within only five months, Olivia was able to find stability once again and regain her independence.
The Samaritan Inn takes pride in our program and its structure to assist individuals who are in need. We utilize every possible tool to assist our residents on their road to self-sufficiency. The combination of Olivia’s hard work and dedication to the program, coupled with the support of our team, truly helped to change this individual’s life.
Career development services
Financial literacy services
On-site childcare services provided so parents could accomplish all career development, financial literacy, casework, and counseling services
Corporate &Community Support
of every dollar goes directly to our program
in vouchers issued for residents to shop at Inn Style
in vouchers issued forresidents to shop at Inn Style
A person who freely offers to take part in an enterprise or undertake a task.
Freely offer to do something.
No doubt, volunteering is a good thing because, after all, it makes the world a better place for all. This year, 2,537 volunteers touched the lives of nearly 800 people through programs at The Samaritan Inn. It’s because of their support that our most vulnerable residents of North Texas have been able to obtain a hand up for the past 35 years.
On any given day, around 50 volunteers are needed to staff essential positions at The Inn adequately.
In 2018, our incredible volunteers offered a combined total of 37,696 hours of their spare time to support our program! It is only through the generous support of our volunteer army that we’re able to provide residents with quality programs that offer them a chance to get back on their feet.
Volunteer hours donated
Estimated value of volunteer hours donated
Rosalynn Carter once said that “Without volunteers, we’d be a nation without a soul.” At The Samaritan Inn, without volunteers we’d be a shelter without heart. Each day we are blessed by numerous volunteers who give their time to help in all aspects of our organization. In 2018 alone our volunteers gave 37,696 hours of time to The Inn at an estimated value of $930,714—but to us, this time is priceless.
Thelma Taylor began volunteering at The Samaritan Inn in 2014 and has faithfully served over 1,200 hours to date. She can be found multiple times per week in the main shelter, serving as an office host, administrative assistant, and donation assistant. In addition, Thelma is always happy to help with special events and has given of herself in various ways as we prepare for our annual gala and luncheon. Always the early bird, Thelma typically arrives at the shelter before her scheduled time and will often stay late to help with whatever the day’s needs may bring. We are so very grateful for her continued dedication to The Inn. Please join us in congratulating our 2018 Volunteer of the Year, Thelma Taylor!
At the Samaritan Inn we often encounter individuals and families who are overcome by this big old world. They are in crisis and despair after having experienced a hail of life’s bullets, some of them for years. Our team works tirelessly every day to help those we serve back to a place of independence, dignity, and a belief in themselves and their future. For anyone trying to overcome poverty and homelessness, it takes more than just the drive inside them. They need education, employment, a belief in their future, and connections to others.
The connections we use at The Inn are what help us ensure the progress and success of our residents. It takes an entire village of agencies, groups, businesses, and individuals to provide services from mental health to employment connections; from certifications to gingerbread-house builds; from meals to toilet paper for over 500 people. We work with a number of locations for summer camps and in FY 17-18 we had kids in nine different school districts! From Super Bowl Sundays to the joyous Christmas holidays we provide support, entertainment, mentoring, childcare, education, and more, by maximizing the love and support of our village. So thank you, village, for being our residents’ support for success!
“I love those connections that make this big old world feel like a little village.” – Gina Bellman
Discovery Learn Center
Dr. Nelson Wong, DDS
Collin County Probation and S.C.O.R.E Program
Plano Rotary Club
Hair Design by Kim Ewing
And the countless volunteers, tutors, faith groups, scout troops, corporations, Samaritan Inn Ambassadors, and civic groups who make this world feel less overwhelming and much more manageable.
Chief Executive Officer
President, Baylor Scott & WhiteMedical Center
Owner, Advantage Storage
Director/Partner, Abernathy, Roeder, Boyd & Hullett, P.C.
Director of Media Relations, City of Plano
President & Chief Executive Officer, Anelto, Inc.
Vice President, First National Bank of Trenton
Vice President, Emerson
Treasurer, NFL Alumni Association
Managing Vice President, Capital One