08 Aug SPOTLIGHT ON A NONPROFIT
You may know it as the Samaritan House, a homeless shelter, but around the shelter it is referred to as Sam House and it is in fact so much more than just a shelter. Sam House was established as a shelter in Kalispell in 1989 but has expanded its programs to serve homeless families, children, and teens.
It is a homeless shelter serving 35 to 45 people with basic needs and nightly shelter. Sam House also offers 20 small apartments for transitional housing to homeless families that are most often single moms with kids. The families stay for free usually for up to three months, during which time they are able to save up enough money for a deposit and rent to move into an apartment.
Sam House also provides shelter for teens that are considered homeless. Teens that have left home for various reasons, can find safe housing at Sam House. Teens end up staying about 8 months while they are in school.
Sam House provides assistance to Veterans that are homeless including access to physical and mental health checkups, meals, and affordable housing. It also has 32 low income apartments that serve as permanent residence for the tenants. These tenants pay a very low, affordable, monthly rent.
In addition to housing, Sam House provides case management for all residents, food, and a thrift store that includes clothing, housewares, and blankets. Sam House is a good place to drop off items you are giving away. They take clean clothing, dishes, blankets and bedding, and other house ware items. Donated bikes are put to good use by students to get to work and school, as well as other residents.
Chris Krager, Executive Director of Sam House for the past 18 years, runs all the shelter programs with a staff of seven full time employees and seven part-time, plus a lot of volunteers. It takes a great deal of work to keep the shelter organized, clean, and in good repair but Chris says the residents all pitch in too.