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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Samaritan House

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Food, Food Programs, Health, Health Care, Homeless & Housing, Housing & Shelter, Human Services

Mission: To improve lives, promote self-sufficiency, and preserve dignity by providing supportive services for all members of our community in need. To create and provide effective opportunities for community members to share their means, their energy, and their concern for those in need.

Results: Over the last three decades, Samaritan House has earned awards and public recognition from all segments of the community, including awards from local and state government and wide press coverage for innovative programs. In a nod of approval to Samaritan House’s administrative skill and leadership abilities, the 7 agencies that comprise San Mateo County’s safety net selected Samaritan House to lead the County’s efforts to distribute the County’s allocation of “Homeless Prevention” funds from the federal stimulus ($488,800) and to secure and distribute funding from the State for “Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing” ($1.6 million). This effort builds upon Samaritan House’s role as the Season of Sharing fiscal agent for the County since 1990 The program provides emergency assistance to prevent homelessness for expenses such as rent and utilities.

Target demographics: Persons living in poverty in San Mateo County, including homeless single adults who need shelter.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 14,000+

Geographic areas served: San Mateo County

Programs: Samaritan House operates two free medical clinics, a homeless shelter, a food and nutrition program (e.g., food delivery, dining room, food pantry), a homelessness prevention program, a variety of educational classes, a holiday program, a family resource center, and a worker resource center. All services are provided free of charge.

Community Stories

66 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Such a valuable community resource doing critical work to support our County’s most vulnerable. Volunteering feels like joining a hardworking, selfless family.

Antonina  M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Amazing Place! This is like a big family! Thanks

Cheryl Bernstein R.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The equity issue is intense in the Bay Area right now. Seems to grow every day. Thank goodness for Samaritan House. We've never needed you as much as we do now. A trusted community partner for life!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The work Samaritan House is doing in San Mateo County is inspirational. They are making a big impact in the lives of so many, and have been doing it for 45 years!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Samaritan House ties together the critical services - food, shelter, clothing and healthcare - needed to fight poverty in San Mateo County, while helping individuals and families gain the skills they need to build their own healthy and positive futures. Samaritan House staff respect their clients and welcome them as valuable members of the community. I have been continually impressed with how Samaritan House clients grow in self-confidence and how they use their Samaritan House experience to strengthen their lives and the lives of those around them. Samaritan House changes lives for the better every day and makes our community that much stronger for it.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Samaritan House has been around for at least 45 years! They're a great organization that cares about helping people reach a place of stability.

Donor

Rating: 5

The importance of the work that the Samaritan House of San Mateo performs cannot be understated. It’s easy to think that being in such an affluent part of the world, the community is somehow shielded from the most fundamental of needs (food, shelter, clothing, medical care, job assistance). In fact it is the tremendous wealth disparity that makes life in Bay Area tenuous for so many. There are countless families one pay check away from missing a car payment, making rent, being able to put food on their table, clothing their children, or having dental work done. Once you fall out, it is virtually impossible to get back in. Samaritan House provides that safety net where people can go at their time of greatest need.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Samaritan House is a very active and progressive nonprofit organization! They pretty much provide all-in-one services for the people in need; job, food, medical help, place to sleep for few nights, training and grooming for landing a job.....you name it!
And all the staffs and volunteers get it done together with great enthusiasm and professional approach. They make sure the limited resources can benefit as many people as possible and the most appropriate assistance they could get.

In a word, Samaritan House shows the world; the best thing can happen to a human being is being able to give and make it happen~~

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Staff are quick to help and come with no judgement no matter where you are in life. The unique aspect about Samaritan House is its personalized approach. Whether you are in need of food, shelter, clothing or healthcare, Samaritan House is dedicated to fighting poverty.

Meredith L.2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Samaritan House is a wonderful resource for everyone in the community. I especially love the Project Wee Care Program where children learn empathy and the importance of giving to others with the ease of donating items at their school site. Our school had a field trip to Samaritan House so children could see how donations of food and clothing are used. I also love the kids closet where we can donate clothes to those in need. Thank you for this amazing resource!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Samaritan House goes above and beyond. They supply great medical care , diabetes education , social services, and even food as medicine for people in need. It is an honor to work with such compassionate and dedicated staff members and providers.

Laurelle J.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Samaritan House in some form or another for abut 30 years now. SH has been a great asset to our local community. As they have been able to add additional services over the years, they have become a place where people in our community can go for help, anything from food to financial planning. I have loved working with this local non-profit over the years and hope to continue with them for years to come.

Lbent1943

Donor

Rating: 5

I donate to Sam House regularly because of their structure and commitment to the San Mateo and Palo Alto Communities. They serve meals, provide shelter, training, clothes, and rental assistance, and let me not forget the resource center, to their community. They do phenomenal work and have hundreds of committed volunteers.

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Donor

Rating: 5

It amazes me when I hear all of the services Samaritan House provides for the low inocme community of San Mateo County" Rental Assistance, Food Pantry, Hot Meals, Meals on Wheels, Kids Closet, Financial Literacy, Free Clinic and I feel I am most impressed with their newest program where a clinic doctor provides a diabetic patient with a prescription and they can go to the Food Pharmacy to get products that will help them with their diet, a critical component for a diabetic. I am awestruck by the dedications of the organizations and individuals who happily donate hour upon hour of time. They must really believe in the program and the work thye provide. Yeah Samaritan House!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I only recently (within the last year) became aware of this organization and all that they've done and continue to do in the community. As I'd heard great things about them, and seeing the growing homelessness and desperation around me in San Mateo Co., I began recommending to several struggling neighbors that they check it out. And all have been success stories. I've been blown away from hearing how they're getting the help they need, from food to free medical care. I've even begun thinking of ways that I can help out too, through them. I've started by donating to their Kid's Closet program and hope to be able to volunteer soon!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Members of our organization have had the opportunity to volunteer with Samaritan House for several years in a row now, and each time we come away feeling grateful for the chance to help support them in their efforts. The work they are doing in the community and with their clients is so important and humbling.

Client Served

Rating: 5

It has helped my family out in so many ways from clothing and food when we couldn't afford that time. I also appreciate the assistance when I was looking for a place and they offered to step in to help. Samaritan House not only offers many resources but, the people who work there are genuinely kind and are always serving people like me with a smile. I

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This organization does so much for the community. Fun Fundraising events, taking care of the whole community from getting back packs for the children to providing food for the needy. All of those involved should be very proud at the difference they make in their own background ❤️

1 Jesse S.4

Donor

Rating: 5

I ve donated clothes diapers and backpacks for this good organization and this month we're getting ready
to donate Halloween costumes for the kids too.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am a teacher in the San Mateo Foster City school district. Samaritan House has helped serve many of our families in need. It’s a wonderful organization that provides clothes, food, medical needs, and other services.

1 Cliff R.

Board Member

Rating: 5

What an amazing place. All of the services and goods provided make a real difference in the lives of so many. But the dignity and uplift imparted as well are the true magic of Samaritan House! In thriving Silicon Valley, many forget the economic pressures and difficulties placed on so many. Thankfully, Sam House is here to step in and help. Few charities are as deserving of our support!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Samaritan House is a leader in serving the needs of our community in San Mateo County. Their services including basics like free healthcare, food, case management, and financial empowerment are making a huge difference in the lives of our working poor neighbors.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a member of the Samaritan House board of directors and a volunteer. I commend the dedicated staff and the generous supporters in San Mateo County who serve the needs of those less fortunate in our community. You have made a difference in the lives of many people and are continuing to do so. The mission of Samaritan House is sacred to the well being of the San Mateo County community. Thank you!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Samaritan House is an organization with heart. Its leaders, staff and volunteers are all passionate about the mission , the work and the vital role that Samaritan House plays in San Mateo County, at a time when support for our neighbors living in poverty is more needed than ever. I am continually gratified by the response of the community and the difference that Samaritan House makes in the lives of its clients. I am particularly proud of innovative initiatives such as the Food Pantries at our health clinics that have made a tangible, positive impact on our clients.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Fantastic organization run professionally, but still touching people and the community on a personal level.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

The Kids' Closet resource is a terrific place for families to outfit their children for healthy and
happy lives. As a volunteer, it is rewarding to manage donations and then see the clothing walk out the door with smiling children and their parents.
This truly is an investment of time, energy, and caring with many rewards.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Samaritan House is an important nonprofit organization, and I really respect and admire the work that they do in our community. It's volunteer-driven, working together to provide food, shelter, healthcare and other services for all our neighbors.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at Samaritan House Kids Closet for over seven years. Currently, we hand out about 4000 pieces of children's clothing per month. I enjoy seeing the clients' faces light up when they find just the right outfit for their child and it is all free of charge.
It is a privilege for me to be part of the Samaritan House family.

,

Sarah H.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Mrs. K’s House Preschool has been working with Samaritan House for over 23 years. They have so many wonderful programs to help people in our communities. Introducing my preschoolers to the WeeCare Program helps young children develop and cultivate empathy and inclusiveness from a very young age. And that’s what this world needs. Preschoolers are indeed able to grasp the concept of empathy. It’s rewarding to see them make those connections.”
- Sarah Kerseg-Halpin, Mrs. K’s Preschool in Foster City

Jennelle.Martell

Donor

Rating: 5

As a small business in San Mateo County with a mission to Make Cider Make a Difference, we support Samaritan House on an annual basis because of their continued dedication to helping neighbors and improving the lives of so many in our county. From a shelter to dental care to increased access to food and clothes, this client-focused non-profit provides resources at every level of need to support those in our cities who need help the most. Through these services, Samaritan House assists its clients in managing the causes of homelessness instead of merely taking care of the symptoms.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Samaritan House does so much to help families in need in our community. A great place to donate and to volunteer time to help in San Mateo County.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Samaritan House is my families 'go-to' for volunteering and financial giving. We are impressed to see the work they do first hand and in many cases immediate. Helping strengthen our community at all stages of life and need - truly a terrific organization.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

A wonderful organisation providing essential services and resources for those in need within the San Mateo county.
An amazing place to volunteer, give back and support the local community!

Carrie G.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Samaritan House does so much for people living in poverty in San Mateo county. I see the work they do and they are the best at gathering resources and delivering. They do it with compassion and heart.

Donor

Rating: 5

An amazing organization! They help so many local families in the area.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

The people who work here are very friendly and kind. It was my first time donating items and the ladies here were super helpful providing information and informing me of items needed.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Thank you Samaritan House for being there for our communities most vulnerable. I have lived in San Mateo all my life and Samaritan House has always been there. They run a homeless shelter and free medical clinics. They do so much for the community and are highly regarded.

Donor

Rating: 5

My children and I have donated clothing over the years and are so impressed with the organization and professionalism of everyone at Samaritan House. I see how grateful the clients are when they receive new clothing or food. Samaritan House is a gem in this community!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Samaritan House has been a true miracle for many of my former students and their families. Children were able to receive much needed medical and dental treatment bc of SH. Students were able to get clothes for school and needed supplies! When it was the last week of the month when money was scarce the food pantry filled their empty tummies! For holidays they were able to get a turkey or all dinner fixings! In my 15 years of teaching children and their families I witnessed many, many times when Samaritan House was the only supportive solution and were a blessing to hundreds of families!

1 Mary472

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with many different organizations over the years, and Samaritan House is the most well-organized and focused of them all. They know their clients and how best to serve them, constantly creating new incentive programs to address the unique needs of this area. They treat their volunteers well and show us we are appreciated. There are volunteer and donation opportunities for nearly every age group and availability, which helps cement the strong bond the community has with Samaritan House.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

Samaritan House provides essential services to my community, in a way that is efficient, effective and compassionate. I have volunteered with many organizations over the years, and have found Samaritan House to be very well-organized and responsive to its volunteers. Compassion with our clients is emphasized -- the staff are excellent teachers and role models in this regard. I have been very happy as a volunteer here -- I feel like what I'm doing is useful and important.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am both a donor and a volunteer. I coordinate donations for my club to Samaritan House over the summer collecting school supplies and at the holidays with toys. I really like working with Samaritan House, especially as all of the work and donations stay right in my local community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer my time to help Samaritan House and I donate items to them. I belong to a service organization and we love to volunteer for the Samaritan House. They do just great work to help those in the community who need assistance. Everyone at Samaritan House that I have dealt with is always very friendly, caring and giving. I wish I could do more to help them. I believe they truly are a life saver for many people.

Donor

Rating: 5

Samaritan House raises money and then gives it to the community. Sam House works with other organizations in San Mateo County to make sure those in need get the aid they need to have housing, health care, and a helping hand.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Samaritan House is an amazing asset in our community. It provides desperately needed housing, medical and dental care, social and family support to those most in need. It also provides a way for others to contribute to building our community, one family at a time. I personally have known a handful of families who have benefitted from temporary housing, gifts at the holidays and food when needed. I've also known families who make it a priority to donate their time and money to this organization. It bridges the gaps in our community and lessens the distance between us.

2 Leslie Q.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was once a client and then a volunteer. The assistance and services provided by Samaritan House to San Mateo County residents are beyond amazing. Not only do they provide the basic needs such as food, shelter, and medical assistance to low income residents of the county, but they also think about programs and services that push towards self-sufficiency. Families and individuals know they have somewhere to go and ask for help during times of needs. Samaritan House, you give families hope in times of instability. I have personally experienced how your assistance makes a difference in the lives of those living in poverty. Please know that my mom is forever grateful for everything you did for her and her 3 children. Because of organizations like you and the support of other organizations pushing for affordable housing, we are now able to thrive. Please know that your assistance with rent, food, clothing, and Julio who was our amazing case manager gave us the tools to get our of poverty. My mom is now happily 8 years into her career working with special needs children and her three daughters are either done with undergraduate and doing their masters studies, or about to transfer. Thank you for helping our community!

Wendy160

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've volunteered in their Christmas Adoption (adopt a family and adopt a senior) for four years, and I recently volunteered for the back to school drive. The clients that Samaritan House San Mateo supports are all so thankful for this wonderful and supportive organization. Programs are well-designed, smoothly run, and draw literally hundreds of needy families. I love working with this organization.

Marnie K.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Samaritan House is an incredible organization that does great work for those in need in San Mateo County.

Vicky25

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been collecting donations and volunteering at Samaritan House for close to two decades. It is a pillar of the community in San Mateo, providing countless services for those in need, and doing a wonderful job of involving schools and other community groups in their philosophy: neighbor helping neighbor.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Samaritan House is a wonderful oasis of healthcare for the medically uninsured. I was lucky enough to volunteer there and meet grateful patients, amazing volunteer medical and dental providers, and competent administrative staff!

1 Christina138

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a single mom, and my pay was decreased. Not knowing where to begin looking for help, I called and applied everywhere. ONLY Samaritan House heard me out, and acknowledged my hardship, with kindness and generosity. The food program has saved my daughter and I. The volunteers at the food program are always welcoming and kind, and never once have I felt "less than" by being there. I am eternally grateful

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a VOLUNTEER here. Its really a great place. The dental clinic managed by Alex is great. He manages it better than some of the private clinics owned by dentists who make $$. Also I am very thankful to them for letting me take x rays for patients for my X ray certification course, I couldn't have done without them, thanks a lot Dr. Rideau and Alex.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a client of The Samaritan House. They have always been there for me when I need help. Lynnette is my case worker and is always willing to help me when I am in need for food. She is very understanding and is very caring for her clients.
The holiday drive during ThanksGiving and Christmas is so helpful for my family. The food we get last for months. I am so thankful to have something like this around to help me and my family when we are in need.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a Client of Samaritan House,and I had to ask for assistance to pay my rent. No family and my friends could not help. I called and got Mrs. Lynette Robinson who told me what he needed as far as paperwork. This was on a Tuesday by Friday I had received a call that I have been approved for the Assistance. I have been able to keep my Apartment,but I constantly struggle to keep food in it. I come to them once a month to help with my issues with food. This is such a great Organization and with out there help I would be homeless.
Thank you.
A.H.

Abet B.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

They are all very dedicated and helpful. They are also great part of the community.

1 Nikki51

Donor

Rating: 5

Everyone who helps there & is helped by them adds so much to our community!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Samaritan House is a fabulous service for our community. They provide help in so many areas for those who need a boost up. Dr. Hirasuna and her orthodontic team (Orthodontics of San Mateo) just spent a day volunteering our services. We organized and cleaned up a storage area in preparation for the holidays. We sorted and placed Halloween costumes for children of all ages and some for adults on many display racks. We prepared bags of food for distribution. Salad was made and carrots peeled for the meals that are prepared daily in the kitchen. It felt wonderful to be able to help our community

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

They're great. I remember my family getting food from the Samaritan house years ago. They're very helpful and i think it is an awesome organization. Thank you

1 Julia74

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a former board member and current Advisory Council member I can say without hesitation that this organization is very well run. They steward every dollar donated and are strategic in both short term decision making and long term planning. Their professionalism has resulted in a thriving organization that helps thousands of low income people in our community and it's done with great care and respect.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Samaritan House makes it possible for many in our community to survive and thrive. They offer shelter, food, clothing, medical care, education and so much more. Bravo.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Everyone is so caring & kind and most generous with their time to help others

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with this organization for over 10 years. Amazing food bank services, holiday toy drive, and a wide network of resources for those in need in our community. So happy to support Samaritan House and celebrate their work and commitment.

1 Gina Q.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have had nothing but great experiences working with Samaritan House leadership team to tackle tough local policy issues and address the needs of San Mateo County's most vulnerable residents. I have referred many people to services and received positive feedback about staff and services. Samaritan House is an important partner to local government agencies and the nonprofit landscape, and are constantly looking to create innovative programs and solutions to address the ever-changing needs of the community.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Best place to volunteer because they care about all the people involved. Their clients, their employees, their volunteers, their donors, their partnerships, their everything!
Top notch, best there has been in the Bay Area!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Samaritan House is THE BEST charity in the Bay Area. Their programs often keep Single Parent & Dual Parent families from losing irreplaceble housing in an unforgiving housing market. As a single mother who lost a decent paying job to a permanent work injury, Samaritan House as been there for me when I had nowhere else to turn to keep a roof over the heads of myself and my young boy.

Their Kids Closet provides sorely needed clothing to growing children and teenagers and their My New Shoes program and Backpack giveaways help kids to fit in with their peers in a largely affluent Peninsula public school system.

Some of our neighbors suffer setbacks that are not due to bad choices but sometimes from the actions of others as in my injury or simply to life's random bad luck. Samaritan House is there for many who do not have family or friends to count on when support is needed. This is all done with warmth, kindness and friendliness allowing their clients to seek help when they need while retaining their dignity in the process. Their work saves lives. ♡♡♡

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

Samaritan House provides vital services to central San Mateo County. They work closely with families to address the wide variety of issues faced by those in poverty.

What has impressed me is their commitment to the whole individual providing food, shelter, meals, clothing, and much more.

They are an important part of our safety net.