Wednesday, December 30, 2020

A New Year for Case Management

This year has brought a new transition in Case Management at Samaritan House. Our Case Managers, Maya Negron & Nancy Lisk, have given the shelter program a success-oriented update and we are seeing the hard work of our staff and our clients pay off. Nancy and Maya both come from social work backgrounds and have given this community many years of their time and service.


Our program has been enhanced to assist our residents in pursuing goals of self-sustainability while providing connection in accessing resources. Case management services are striving to meet with each resident weekly and sometimes more if requested. During these meetings case management connects & refers our clients to local resources. Maya & Nancy use this time to give affirmation & celebrate recognition to our clients when they’re striving to rise above their circumstances. The shelter is working hard to provide a safe space where residents can decompress and share experiences. This program helps residents have a stronger support system and rapport with Case Managers, creating hope and confidence in their own journeys. 


One important aspect of case management that has shifted is the focus on autonomy. Nancy states “My favorites moments are when clients learn to self-advocate.” Samaritan House is seeing a trend in our shelter resident’s ability to be more financially stable in a shorter time period. Our case managers are using assessments and working with clients to develop employment and housing plans and then using these to hold clients accountable in tracking their success. 


Case Management is essential for our homeless community to move forward and overcome homelessness. Without adequate access to resources and services they are left in the same debilitating cycle. Samaritan House is working hard to evolve and change to the needs that our clients are seeking. 

Thursday, July 30, 2020

2020 Great Fish Community Challenge

The 2020 Great Fish Community Challenge starts today.  It is a 7 week campaign that will wrap up on September 18th.  There are 56 local area nonprofits participating and Samaritan House is honored to be one of them.  

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.  
There are several ways to donate. You can donate by mail, online or at one of the pop up donation sites that will be happening through the challenge.  

Samaritan House is hoping to use funds from the Great Fish Community Challenge to provide for Case Management services at the shelter.  This type of Case Management work is what helps our clients have a greater success in conquering their homelessness.  Last year, 85% of the clients served in Samaritan House Transitional Housing were no longer homeless when they left our facility. We could provide just a meal and a bed for the night but Case Management is what fixes homelessness.

This means, every dollar donated to Samaritan House through the Great Fish Community Challenge will directly help our work to fix homelessness locally.

Thank you very much for your consideration.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Life as we know it has changed

Life as we know it has changed.

This is not a hyperbolic exaggeration or a metaphor to paint a picture; it is reality. You and I are living different that we were a month ago so we can take personal accountability and help save lives by abiding by precautionary measures. The COVID-19 virus is not a respecter of income or geography and it doesn’t care about your job title, politics, or last name.

One of the most important things we can do is shelter-in-place and quarantine ourselves. Social distancing polices ask us not to congregate in groups larger than 10 people and to maintain a bubble of 6 feet when we have to interact with others. For a lot of us, this might be inconvenient or tiresome, but it’s not difficult because we have homes to provide sanctuary.  But what happen if you are homeless or living in a shelter? 

Homelessness presents unique and immense challenges on its own, but this current pandemic increases every problem to potentially lethal levels. Basic things like hand-washing and sanitation prove to be life and death matters when there is no access for these amenities. 

COVID-19 or novel coronavirus has symptoms similar to the flu. People with symptoms have fevers, coughs and also shortness of breath. The virus spreads mainly from person-to-person, between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). This happens by droplets from an infected person’s coughs or sneezes getting into another person’s mouth, nose, or lungs. If a person touches a surface, object, or a sick person’s hand that has the virus on it from the sick person’s cough/sneeze droplets, the virus can infect the well person when they touch their own mouth or nose. Most people recover without medical intervention and have mild symptoms. But certain people do face a higher risk of having more severe symptoms, including pneumonia. Those folks tend to be older, have weakened immune systems or have underlying medical conditions (things like heart or lung diseases).

Hand-washing is important, but access to hand-washing facilities is limited for folks living without shelter. Sanitizer is also effective. If someone is sick, it will help them not spread germs from their lungs or nose to other things they touch. If they are well, it will help them not pick up germs from things they touch and spread them to their mouth, nose or eyes.

Folks should do what they can to avoid touching their noses, eyes, and mouths. Cover coughs: Any cough, even if someone otherwise feels well, should be covered — not with someone’s hands but by coughing into an elbow, a mask or a bandana. As much as possible, encourage those you’re working with to limit sharing personal items, particularly cigarettes, food, phones, utensils and other items.

Use disinfectant wipes that say “kills human coronavirus” on the back. Follow the instructions on the label. Most important is to not dry off whatever is wiped with sanitizer or a wipe. Whatever is wiped will need to stay wet for the amount of time listed on the label. This step is important because that contact time is what is required to kill the germs.  Wipes can be used to clean high-touch items like phones and other surfaces.

Samaritan House is doing all we can to help provide safe shelter for those who need it. We welcome and appreciate any and all donations at this time. Thank you for partnering with us as we face a new reality together.

*Information courtesy of National Alliance to End Homelessness

Friday, March 20, 2020

Cowboy Up Benefit - Postponed

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic we have decided to postpone the upcoming 13th Annual Cowboy Up for Samaritan House Benefit.  When it is rescheduled we will let you know.  

In the meantime, we are committed to providing a safe place for the people we serve and this includes our work to address the potential spread of the virus.  We have implemented significant measures to do so...gloves, masks, hand washing (see above photo) and a rigorous schedule of cleaning all common areas.  So far, everyone is healthy and we will continue to monitor and adjust accordingly.  

The immediate impact we have experienced so far is that:
  • Demand for shelter has increased, this means that we have essentially continued our winter weather contingency plan in order to meet the rising demand for services. 
  • Employment opportunities for clients are becoming harder to find as many employers adjust to the new reality.  
  • Many people are asking how they can help. We are in need of cleaning supplies of any kind. 
  • Postponing our fundraiser will have a financial impact on Samaritan House.   
  • The latest news seems to change by the hour.
Thank you for reaching out.  Your help is appreciated.
Together we can make it though this.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Winter Warm Up - January 31st at Gateway Community Center

Volunteers are still needed for this event.  
Call 406-257-5284

Monday, December 23, 2019

Four Ways You Can Help Samaritan House During the Holidays

1. Volunteer
You can volunteer to serve at meal times, or work on projects that will benefit the shelter. During the holidays, many people love to feed the homeless and assist with meals. No need to be a culinary wizard this is incredibly helpful and happens all throughout the year.  The Samaritan House Volunteer Coordinator coordinates the meals served by volunteers.  Her name is Missy and she can be reached at 406-257-5801. Currently, the last two Thursdays and Mondays of each month are available for volunteers to serve a dinner meal. 

2. Take a tour
Taking a tour of the shelter is educational and informative.  Many times, when people take a tour of our facilities they say that they have learned more about homelessness in Flathead County and mention new and innovative ways that they can help.  It's fun for everyone.   

3. Donate household items or items from our Needs List
Donated items such as dishes, furniture and most any type of household items can be donated and are tax deductible.  Samaritan House staff keep a consistent and changing Needs List of items that are needed at the shelter.  
Here are a few ideas of things that would really help Samaritan House:
Clorox Wipes
Laundry Detergent
Three Shower Curtains
Towels, wash rags, hand towels
Office Supplies

4. Donate Money
Giving money will provide clothing, education, food, and shelter. It will help the homeless in more ways than you may realize and the more money that is given, the more services and help can be provided. There are several ways that you can donate.  
You can donate on our website: 
On our blog:  
On the Facebook page:
Or you can Venmo money to Samaritan House, scan this code.

Or you can donate to Samaritan House via PayPal.  

Whatever your holiday traditions are we want to thank you for taking 
time to consider Samaritan House during the Holidays!

Monday, October 28, 2019

Homelessness and Sleep Deprivation

Conventional wisdom says that the average adult should aim to get about eight hours of sleep each night. Children need significantly more sleep time while older adults may manage with less. Before the invention of effective artificial lighting, the cycle of night and day regulated sleeping patterns. People worked during the daylight hours and when night fell they went to bed.

But what happens if you are not able to get the proper amount of sleep necessary for a healthy lifestyle? One of the things we are proud of at Samaritan House, is that our residents are able to get a good night sleep. Sleep deprivation causes difficulties for everyone, regardless of where you live, but the homeless are at higher risk of not getting the proper amount of sleep.

The fact that you become tired and need to sleep at times proves that this is vital to the body's functioning. Just as you need to eat and drink a certain amount and exercise to stay healthy the same applies to sleep. The optimum sleep time varies between individuals, but if an average person gets less than six hours of solid sleep each night, they are sleep deprived. Your body needs this rest to recoup energy expended during the day. A serious lack of sleep weakens the immune system to increase the likelihood of infection. This is compounded for children, who need even more sleep than adults. Many homeless children are more susceptible to becoming physically run-down when they can't sleep.

Lack of sufficient sleep makes a person grumpy and irritable. It is easy to say or do things you later regret if overtiredness prevents you from thinking before speaking or acting. Consider how many business and social relationships disintegrate because one party says or does something without sufficient forethought. A good night's sleep ensures that you are much better equipped to respond well to the challenges that invariably come up in human dealings. Applying and interviewing for jobs when sleep deprived is a tough obstacle to overcome.

While genetic and diet factors are key determinants of whether or not an individual is prone to develop diabetes, lack of sleep also plays a role. According to some studies, getting sufficient sleep helps the body process glucose. If you usually sleep less than five hours per night, your body is unable to effectively perform this function and risks of developing type 2 diabetes increases.

When you invest in Samaritan House, you help change lives in real and practical ways like helping families and individuals get a restful night sleep so they can face a future with hope.

-resources from