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Samaritan House of San Mateo County celebrates a significant milestone this year

This year, Samaritan House of San Mateo County is marking an important 50th anniversary. It’s a big deal because they’ve been at the forefront of battling poverty in the area for half a century. Based in San Mateo, this charity helps 26,000 people and manages five food pantries in both San Mateo and Redwood City. They also offer two free health clinics and provide shelters for the homeless in South San Francisco, San Mateo, and Redwood City. Plus, they have a program called Kids Closet for giving away free children’s clothes and offer emergency money to families who don’t have much.

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“For 50 years, we have built on the need identified by our founder, Dr. Cora Clemons, who felt there was a better way to connect struggling community members to vital resources. We’ve come a long way from the days of Dr. Clemons running Samaritan House out of a two-bedroom home in San Mateo, and we look forward to serving our neighbors for the next 50 years and beyond,” shares Samaritan House CEO Laura Bent.

Among Samaritan House’s key accomplishments:

  • Under the leadership of early CEO John Kelly, Samaritan House became a County Core Service Agency in 1985
  • Since March 2020, Samaritan House has distributed over $125 million into the community helping individuals and families avoid homelessness
  • During COVID in 2021, Samaritan House opened Pacific Emergency Shelter allowing clients to shelter safely in individual rooms
  • In 2023, Samaritan House provided a record-breaking 4.8 million meals to community members facing food insecurity
  • In the last 5 years, Samaritan House increased the number of clients served by 78% through food programs, shelter services, clothing, healthcare, and financial assistance

Samaritan House’s commitment to empowering self-reliance and leading into the future

Samaritan House looks at how well their clients can take care of themselves to see how much they’re helping. They have case managers who work one-on-one with each client to make sure their specific needs are met. For 50 years, they’ve been growing to help more people who are living in poverty in our area. They are known for being professionally run, supported by volunteers, and focused on the people they help.

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As a main organization fighting poverty in San Mateo County, Samaritan House brings different groups and ideas together to tackle big problems. They believe in building a community where no one is poor. To keep making a difference, they keep coming up with new programs. For example, in 2024, they’re starting a new project to give guaranteed money to single moms in poverty. They’re also thinking about creating a Community Resiliency Center and working on new ways to help people get better jobs. On top of all this, Samaritan House is working with U.S. Congressman Kevin Mullin and others across the country to try and update the way we measure poverty at the federal level.

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