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LIMA — Lima’s Samaritan House has been serving homeless women and their children in Lima and Allen County since 1987. The shelter is located at 328 W. McKibben St., Lima.

Lima’s Samaritan House is a supportive emergency shelter program designed to help women become self-sufficient.

Women and children are referred to Lima’s Samaritan House by self-referral, churches and other public and private social service agencies. Clients eligible for services must have no permanent residence, be able to provide care for themselves and their children and not pose a safety risk to themselves or others. Lima’s Samaritan House can accommodate up to 17 households at a time and up to 38 individuals, depending on the size of the households being served.

“Working with our clients to break down the cause of homelessness can be very challenging and sometimes heart-breaking work, but it’s such a blessing when we see lives change and relationships mended,” Executive Director Brandi Schroeder said.

While there is no cost to stay at Samaritan House, the women are required to save 80% of their income to apply toward their future housing. This not only empowers the women by investing in their own futures but also helps to extend the limited community resources. Admissions are up to a 90-day period.

The on-site services, along with several area social service agencies, assist each individual with housing and personal, educational and vocational goals. Shelter services include one-on-one case management, meals, bathing and laundry facilities along with supportive programming that may include parenting, resume and job readiness, drug and alcohol education, budgeting, health and hygiene education and nutrition.

The crucial role of case management identifies and addresses the multiple challenges that the women and children face on a daily basis. Guiding clients through choices and changes increases their chances to succeed and significantly reduces a return to homelessness. Case management also works to connect individuals with programs and resources necessary to ensure not only a successful transition but a support system once they have moved on from the shelter.

The number of homeless is not a fixed number of people. Everyday misfortunes, along with a number of other circumstances, can lead anyone into homelessness. Poverty and the lack of affordable housing are the principal causes of families becoming homeless. Market rents are continually rising faster than the incomes of poor people.

Half of the funding is achieved through sustained grant writing efforts, private foundations, churches, clubs, organizations and individuals. Donations account for most of the food, medicine, cleaning supplies, office supplies and household goods that are needed to run the shelter. In 2020 goods valued just over $42,000 were received through donations. Any donated items that can not be used in a timely manner at Samaritan House are passed on to other local agencies that can use the item to serve the community.

“We believe very strongly in helping those who are struggling, and we are thankful for the partnership and support we have in our community to help us accomplish this mission,” Schroeder said.

Samaritan House, at 328 W. McKibben St., Lima, first opened in 1987.

Reach Dean Brown at 567-242-0409.

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