Monday, March 4, 2019

Current Needs

This February 33.2 inches of snow fell in Kalispell, making it the snowiest February on record. Daytime temperatures hovered in the low single digits and the wind chill plummeted well below zero on several occasions. And while winter weather in the Flathead might fluctuate between nasty and brutal, our needs at Samaritan House remain consistent. Here are some items we can always use.

Temporary beds like the one pictured above.  We at Samaritan house feel that bunk beds offer less dignity and respect but are in need of adding more beds. ($129 at WalMart.)  This will give us more ability to flex as demands rise in the colder months.

Donations of warm socks, and boots. Our residents might begin and end their days in the shelter, but they also spend a great portion of their time outside the shelter pursuing employment opportunities as well as going to jobs they have. Many of them walk or rely on public transportation so warm gear is a lifesaver.

Toilet paper and bathroom supplies are also coveted and appreciated. These items are easy to take for granted when they are always on hand, but imagine what it would be like if you need them but don't have them. Personal hygiene is essential to fostering feelings of self confidence and if these items are donated, we are able to use our resources for other things we need.

Cleanliness is an important (as well as state-mandated!) virtue for us so we also really appreciate cleaning supplies. We want to do our best to provide a clean environment for our residents, staff, volunteers, and guests. Spending a great deal of our time in community necessitates keeping things clean and sanitary to reduce the risk of sickness.

All of these items are appreciated because we use them often. Thanks for all that you do to make Samaritan House a place that meets the needs of its residents on a daily basis. Treating people with dignity and respect are important to us and you help us do that. If you have any questions, please call our office.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

12th Annual Cowboy Up for Samaritan House Auction

Where were you 12 years ago?

It's an interesting question because we tend to focus on the present and the future, but sometimes the past gets little fanfare. And, "Why 12 years?", you might ask? Because in a few weeks it will be the 12th annual Cowboy Up Benefit for Samaritan House. We have been hosting this fundraiser as long as it takes a child to go from Kindergarten to Graduation. And it's been quite a journey for us, as well. We are honored to host this Auction and the longevity of this event shows its importance.

This year's event will be held at Gardner's Auction, which provides an ideal venue for all we have to offer. Single tickets can be purchased for only $40 or a table for 8 can be reserved for $300. Doors open at 5 pm and an incredible dinner will be served at 6 pm. Use this opportunity to catch up with friends while having a wonderful time and donating to an important cause.

Because that's what this is really about- there is a point to be made and lives to be changed. There are a thousand different things you can spend or invest your hard-earned money on but none might count so much as this Auction in regards to saving lives.

Yes, there will be phenomenal music by Smart Alex. You will have a great time and enjoy yourself dancing the night away. And the auction items are worth the experience by themselves, with a wide variety sure to tickle anyone's fancy- there will e something for everyone. But the entire night is a reminder that homelessness in the Flathead Valley is a real issue. We gather to raise money and resources so we can provide opportunities to change lives. This will be an epic night with so many wonderful moving parts aimed at a singular goal: Addressing homelessness in our community so that our community will be strengthened.

You can play a part in this and we hope to see you there! Please call our office if you have any questions regarding the auction or this night.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Cold Weather Plans

Homelessness presents unique challenges and obstacles for daily life. Homelessness in Montana, in the winter, can be deadly, which is why Samaritan House has its own Cold Weather Contingency Plans aimed at saving lives. We will find a place for you. 

Director Chris Krager adamantly states that, "The nature of homelessness in Montana is such that at certain times of the year it can be fatal." If you have lived through a few winters in the Flathead Valley, you know the potential brutality firsthand. This past week windchill dropped well below zero, reaching nearly -25, depending on where you lived. This could be a death sentence for someone living in a tent or other structures not suitable for intended dwelling. 

These are not just words on a screen as we learned this week, see the photo above.

Samaritan House is equipped with mobile beds and we are putting them to good use. Any safe place in our shelter has been turned into a makeshift sleeping unit because we recognize this is an extremely important issue. Living outside, in the exposed elements, is difficult in the best conditions so when homelessness is exacerbated with frigid wind, snow, and ice, we need to get involved. Heart failure, hypothermia, and frostbite are all real possibilities.

Thanks for all you do because your financial support and donating resources allowing us to do our best to take care of those who need a place to shelter from the weather. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Winter Warm Up

Winters in Montana can be quite inhospitable and sometimes resources are hard to come by. Winter Warm Up, a Project Homeless Connect event, offers a multitude of opportunities for the community to unite together and provide all sorts of services for anyone who needs them. Over the years, thousands of individuals, families, and Veterans have received everything from free tax services  and clothing to pet care. There is a wealth of resources available and volunteers to help you navigate through the process.

Medical and cosmetic services along with great resources to assist with employment opportunities are just some of the incredible things you will find. There will be free food and live music and treats for the kids, so please take advantage of Winter Warm Up Winter Warm Upbecause once it's over, it won't be back for another year!

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Homelessness is More Than A Word

Homelessness is more than a word.

It is a lifestyle that encompasses more than statistics and reports. Its a condition that reaches past point-in-time census reviews. The four little letters at the end of the word represent something larger than not having a livable habitat; they ask us to consider that some people are caught in a cycle that most of us have never had to experience. Homelessness is lived and experienced and not fixed to the words typed on this blog. When we are done reading about homelessness, we move on the next thing in our day.

If you experience homelessness, your day takes on a whole different meaning.

Eradicating homelessness would be an amazing thing but it involves more than providing temporary shelter to keep families off of the street. If homelessness is truly a fluid lifestyle that takes the shape of an individual's specific circumstance, then the way to address it is to understand that unique situations call for specific measures. Giving a person shelter from the elements for a few nights is one thing (a great thing!) but helping them establish a lifestyle to sustain them involves a lot more moving parts.

We live in a world of stereotypes and prejudgements that make it easy to ignore diseases and focus on symptoms. If someone is chronically homeless, they have been caught in a net of poverty and transient circumstances that very well might condition them to reject measures to help them find permanent residence. Combating these issues is a process that transcends conventional ideas that assist people who are rendered homeless due to sudden circumstances. Homelessness manifests itself in different ways and calls for person-specific solutions.

Samaritan House has been addressing chronic and episodic homelessness for decades. We have gathered some amazing tools over the years and we will never stop doing all we can to save lives by treating each person, individual, or family as their own set of circumstances. We have resources and staff who are dedicated to helping our residents take the next step in a journey no person should have to experience. We believe that addressing the obstacles in a person's life means more than identifying them.

Many of you have been contributors for years and we absolutely could not do what we do without your kindness and generosity. Thank you for all that you do... It is our heart to help people escape a lifestyle and not just circumstances. You make a difference by allowing us to make a difference.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Samaritan House is very excited to be one of the 50 local nonprofit organizations selected to participate in the Great Fish Community Challenge being put on by Whitefish Community Foundation.  The 2018 Challenge will launch July 26 and run through September 14. Join us for the Great Fish Community Challenge Color Run and Community Celebration September 8th.
Nonprofits in the Challenge work to raise money during the campaign. All gifts are processed through the Community Foundation. At the end of the campaign, Whitefish Community Foundation will provide a percentage match on the first $20,000 raised by each participating nonprofit. Learn more about the Match here.
Donations are accepted online here starting July 26. You can download a copy of the official donation form here if you do not receive one in the mail. Sign up for our E-news below. 
Read more on how to donate here.

Last year, Samaritan House served approximately 1,350 local homeless individuals and families.  Your gift will go a long way in helping us serve those that need help.  It is very appreciated.

You can check out the Samaritan House at the Great Fish Community Challenge page here.

Thank you very much!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The 11th Annual Cowboy Up for Samaritan House benefit dinner and auction will be a great fun time.  Doors open at 5pm, dinner served at 6pm.  Music provided by Smart Alex and dancing to follow.  There will be a ticket holder raffle, silent auction, live auction, jewelry heist sponsored by Coins and Carats, wine pull and games. 
Dinner will be Pulled Pork, Roasted Red Potatoes and all the trimmings.  Beer and Wine available for purchase. 
All of this at Gardner's Auction Barn on Highway 93 South, behind Mergenthaler's just south of Kalispell. 
Call 257-5801 for tickets or more info.  Tickets will be available at the door $40 each or a table of 8 for $320.