History

1969 Individuals who recognized the growing social need in the region and felt that the faith community needed to respond create Good Samaritan Center offering direct services such as clothing closet, food pantry, adult literacy, and tutoring services for youth.

1978 Under the direction of Virgil Gulker, Good Samaritan Center changes its model from direct service to a clearinghouse model where needs are assessed and then referred to agencies and churches. This new model becomes known as Love Inc. The success of the model was duplicated and has since spread across North America.

1987 Good Samaritan Ministries partners with World Vision and becomes a part of Project Home Again, mentoring families who were homeless and refugees.

1989 Good Samaritan Center takes ownership of Villa Aurora, an emergency shelter for women and children in the City of Holland.

1995 Partnering with Community Action House, the two organizations and several local churches launch the Community Housing Partnership, offering transitional housing paired with intensive case management.

1996 Good Samaritan Ministries is one of the first faith-based organizations to contract with the Federal Government under the Charitable Choice Provision of the 1996 Welfare Reform Legislation, Project Zero, showing the importance of mentoring to families transitioning from welfare to work.

2000 Good Samaritan Ministries opens their endowment fund at the Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area.

2000 In collaboration with the Department of Human Services, CarLink launches to address the difficulties of transportation for families in need.

2002 Good Samaritan Ministries contracts with the local Frost Center for Social Science Research to conduct evaluation of all our mentoring programs, concluding that “there is strong evidence of immediate impact of mentoring as well as a robust and long lasting positive economic and social benefit of Good Samaritan Ministries’ intervention on participant functioning.”

2004 Good Samaritan Ministries starts the Faith In Youth Partnership with AmeriCorps, mentoring at-risk middle school youth in the Holland/Zeeland community.

2005 Points of Light Foundation and FASTEN identify Good Samaritan Ministries as one of the top 25 faith-based intermediaries that fosters bridge-building partnerships with local faith and community-based organizations, government agencies, foundations, and other partners.

2009 Good Samaritan Ministries organizes the Holland Flood Relief Task Force to help households affected by the flash flooding to have a safe, warm environment.

2009 MSHDA (Michigan State Housing Development Authority) approaches Good Samaritan Ministries to play the intermediary for a 2-year, federal stimulus fund, county-wide homeless prevention/rapid re-housing grant which is successfully implemented.

2009 The Community Housing Partnership receives an award from the Michigan Campaign to End Homelessness in recognition of demonstrated quality and effective practices in services to people that are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

2010 Neighborhood Connections is initiated to address poverty from the neighborhood level and build strong neighborhoods where people are working together to improve the quality of life for themselves and their community.

2011 Good Samaritan Ministries is designated as the HARA (Housing Assessment and Resource Agency) for Ottawa County, becoming the central point of intake for anyone facing a housing crisis in the county.

2011 Good Samaritan Ministries changes its mission and vision statements. “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.”

2013 Good Samaritan Ministries becomes the first Circles® site in the state of Michigan. Circles is a national program that brings people of diverse incomes together in an effort to help low-income individuals and families achieve their financial goals.

2015 Good Samaritan Ministries receives a Permanent Supportive Housing grant to house those who are chronically homeless and suffer from a disability.

2015 Circles takes a two-generational approach to poverty reduction with the creation of the Circles Youth curriculum, helping the whole family learn the skills necessary to thrive.

2016 The Faith In Youth Partnership expands to include mentoring for high school aged youth and a greater region along the lakeshore.

2016 The Care Closet becomes Grace Space, moving from a relief model to a relationship-based model to provide additional support and encouragement for program participants.

2017 In response to the lack of affordable housing, Good Samaritan Ministries partners with Lakeshore Habitat for Humanity to explore a collaborative housing development project.

 

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