Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Girl Scout Troop #3381

Girl Scout Troop #3381 recently put together gift bags for everyone in the shelter.  Included in the bags were items like soap, toothpaste, tooth brushes, shampoo and all kinds of helpful things.  Troop #3381 is led by Brenda Miller and co-led by Lori Botkin, it is a Junior Troop from Evergreen.  You may know Lori as the Executive Director of the Flathead Food Bank.  

This project was part of earning their Bronze Award.  In the process they learned how to shop with coupons, how to recruit donations and much perseverance.  They called stores, Doctor's and Dentist's offices and little by little had gathered enough items for the shelter.  

Lori Botkin said that very little money, around $20, was actually spent in the process, "This was an example of salesmanship as learned by selling girl scout cookies."  

Some of the residents in the shelter had this to say:

"Thank you for caring."

"Girls, thanks a bunch.  This means a lot."

"Thank you for thinking about us."

"It is with honor and gracious joy that I accept your gift.  It is indeed testimony to all things that are beautiful, but, perhaps no where more special than a young girls heart, thank you."

"Thanks  a ton, how real nice of you to think of others."

"Girls, thank you so very much for the much needed items.  They were all things we needed.  As a family staying at the Samaritan House it saves us a lot of money.  Thank you so much for thinking of us."  

I thought you'd be encouraged to know about this.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Shelter Need Calculator

This may be sort of boring for some of you but I am interested in this because it shows on paper just how overloaded the shelter is. The Homelessness Research Institiute has developed a series of interactive maps, calculators and charts intended to provide quick access to data on homelessness and improve understanding of important concepts related to ending homelessness. These interactive tools are posted on the website for the National Alliance to End Homelessness website.
Below is the Shelter Need Calculator.
The column titled "Currently Serving" shows the number of people we are currently serving and the current size of the shelter, with the end result of 41 Shelter Beds Needed.

The column titled "Flathead Homeless Shelter Need" compares the size of the homeless population in Flathead County to the number of shelter beds needed to accomodate our homelessness issue. The result here is 225 Total Minimum Shelter Beds Needed.

Keep in mind these numbers only reflect the shelter portion of what the Samaritan House does. We also provide Transitional Housing and Permanent Housing.
To quote the movie Jaws, "I think we're gonna need a bigger boat."
Stay tuned for exciting news about what the Samaritan House is doing to try to address this demand for services...