Our HistoryIn 1983, a planning meeting for the first homeless shelter in Central Vermont was held, with involvement from a number of local community organizations and area clergy.
Volunteers have always played a critical role in the successful operation of Good Samaritan Haven.
PAST: A board of directors was formed, and the search for a location began. Non-profit and tax-exempt status was acquired for the new organization. The effort to provide shelter evolved into a special ministry of local churches working with area businesses and state agencies.
Through generous donations, property was acquired on North Seminary Street in Barre in the spring of 1985. After challenges with zoning and a successful court ruling, the Good Samaritan Haven opened its doors and served one guest the night of June 23, 1986. A formal dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony was held in April 1987.
Over the years, the facility has been completely updated, including a major renovation finished in 2009. Through a capital campaign including state, federal, and private funding, over $500,000 was raised to expand the building, make it energy efficient and accessible for guests with disabilities. Using local contractors, the building was given a new roof, heating and ventilation system, sprinklers, and solar panels mounted on the building.
PRESENT: In recent years, Good Samaritan Haven has welcomed a new leadership team including a new Board Chair – Pastor Kim Kie; Shelter Manager – Judi Joy; and Executive Director – Brooke Jenkins. Under their leadership, the organization is working to strengthen existing programs and services, to provide compassionate care, and to become more data driven. The organization also recently hired two full-time Case Coordinators to support its guests and help them move more quickly into stable housing.
Good Samaritan Haven conducted a facilitated agency assessment and community stakeholder interviews in the Fall of 2015 to assess our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The organization has recently started implementing changes identified in the assessment including hiring a new Executive Director and outsourcing its fiscal management to Downstreet Housing and Community Development.
FUTURE: Good Samaritan Haven began the strategic planning process in June of 2016 to refine the mission and vision of the organization, and to explore new program development. Look forward to exciting developments in Good Samaritan Haven’s future!