Photo by Theo Tate
The Good Samaritan House at 1825 Delmar is facing a risk of closure because of delays and changes in government grant allocations.
GRANITE CITY — For almost 20 years, the Good Samaritan House enriched the lives of homeless women and children by providing safe and temporary housing and basic human needs.
Now, the Metro East’s largest shelter for homeless women and children is facing risk of closure because of delays and changes in government grant allocations.
On June 16, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced a $225,048 reduction in funds allocated to Madison County Continuum of Care projects. This represents an approximate 10 percent decrease in funds and has made a dramatic impact on social services in Madison County, including the Good Samaritan House.
The shelter, at 1825 Delmar, has been supporting itself without state funding for nearly a year.
“This past year, we have continued to operate by ‘getting very skinny’ while offering the same level of service to moms and their kids in need who are often the most vulnerable people in our communities,” Good Samaritan House Executive Director Janice Donaldson said in a statement.
The organization started an emergency fundraising campaign, Save The Samaritan, to ensure the shelter remains open to hundreds of homeless women and children.
Good Samaritan Board President Mark Donavon said the shelter needs to raise $100,000 by August to remain open.
“This very unexpected loss of funding in April represents a 42 percent reduction in annual revenue, impacting our monthly income by nearly $13,000,” Donavon said. “Without the immediate support and partnership of the St. Louis community, we will be unable to remain open and continue to serve the needs of homeless women and children as we have done continuously since 1998.”
Madison County Homeless Services Manager David Harrison said the program suffered an extreme loss of revenue that could prove detrimental to the shelter facility.
“The Good Samaritan House faces closure without immediate assistance from donors and outside partners,” Harrison said. “The state budget impasse has forced the facility to support itself for almost a year and the sudden loss of federal dollars represents another 42 percent reduction in revenue. They simply cannot continue running under these financial conditions.”
Madison County Board Chairman Alan J. Dunstan said the unexpected announcement from HUD, paired with the current state budget impasse, is causing reductions in necessary services.
“Reducing the budget for social services puts already vulnerable populations even more at risk,” Dunstan said. “Madison County has programs and partnerships in place to help our residents out of homelessness. Cutting transitional housing programs widens the gap between those who can and cannot get themselves off the streets.”
A ministerial alliance started the Good Samaritan House in 1998. Since then, it’s provided a home to more than 5,000 Metro East women and children experiencing homelessness.
“Our shelter program is extremely successful,” Donaldson said. “Eighty percent of the moms who complete our program, on average after three months, will leave us with a job, a home and the skills they need to end homelessness for their families.”
Donations can be made securely online at goodsamaritanhouse.org or can be mailed by check to the Good Samaritan House. For more information, call (618) 876-0607.