Our vision is a healthy, engaged and compassionate community.
Our mission is to end poverty and homelessness. We do this by mobilizing faith-based and community partners, activating individual and community assets, and meeting immediate needs in our community.
Good Samaritan Ministries was founded in 1969. Individuals from a variety of local churches recognized the growing social needs in the region and felt that the faith community needed to respond. Good Samaritan Ministries was formed in recognition that the church could respond to these needs collectively better than individually.
Over the years, GSM has remained flexible and has shifted its activities and programs to accomodate changing needs in the community. In the late 1970s, under the direction of Virgil Gulker, GSM changed from a model of direct service to a clearinghouse model. In this model (known at that time as Love, INC), needs from the community were assessed and referred to local agencies and churches who could respond to those needs. The Love INC model has since spread across North America.
Today, GSM still operates its Clearinghouse, linking people in need with churches and local agencies. We also provide direct services to people who are struggling to find Affordable Housing. We aim to provide positive community connections for at-risk youth through our Faith in Youth program. Our Neighborhood Connections program works to equip and strengthen under-resourced neighborhoods through relationship-building and collaboration among neighbors, churches and community partners. GSM has played a key role in developing a multitude of programs, organizing and mobilizing local churches, and responding to the needs of tens of thousands of members of our community.
Good Samaritan Ministries is critical to the community. With our vision and history of collaborative development, we help eliminate the duplication of social services, leverage financial resources to address critical community needs and build partnerships to utilize the unique resources of all community partners including businesses, government, non-profit and faith-based organizations.
Kerri Brandsen, Finance Director
Rosie Daly, Housing Assessment and Resource Team Coordinator
Melanie Fuentes, CHP Client Services Coordinator
Cindy Hiskes, Grants & Administration Director
Mark Hoekman, Assistant to the Finance Director
Linda Jacobs, Executive Director
Kathy Kibby, Clearinghouse Support Specialist
Mark Kornelis, Housing Director
Lynn Kotecki, Resource Development Consultant
Denise Massey, Faith in Youth Partnership (AmeriCorps) Director
Angela Maxwell, CHP Home Maintenance Educator
Marjorie Rosario, Clearinghouse Director
Stephanie Soderstrom, Community Coach & CHP Mentor Coordinator
Judy Van Dyke, Neighborhood Connections Director
Sara Velazquez, Clearinghouse Assistant & Office Manager
Katie Wood, Communications and Data Systems Coordinator
Board of Directors
Nick Dekker, President, Attorney, Cunningham Dalman PC
John Query, Vice President, Retired Businessman
Larry Koops, Treasurer, Community President, Fifth Third Bank
Brenda VanderMeulen, Secretary, President, River Hills Consulting
Ken Bing, President/Owner, Town & Country Group
Leslie Drahos, Retired Attorney
Larry Dykhuis, Manager of Environmental Affairs, Herman Miller
Linda Pynnonen, Retired Teacher
John Schmidt, Ed.D., RCA Minister
Ruth Stegeman, Director for Community Engagement and Asst. Dean, College of Community and Public Service, Grand Valley State University
Tim Stob, Business Manager, Hi-Tech Dairy Supply
Matt Wehrmeyer, Human Resources Manager, Bank of Holland