Good Samaritan and Bridge of Hope complete merger

Two established non-profits that serve the homeless population of Chester and Lancaster Counties – Good Samaritan Shelter and Bridge of Hope Lancaster & Chester Counties – announce the official merger that uniquely positions the organizations to provide a full range of services to address homelessness.

The new organization has been re-named Good Samaritan Services to reflect the progressive range of services available to homeless men, women and children in the two counties – from emergency shelter to rapid re-housing and permanent housing.   Bridge of Hope Lancaster & Chester Counties is formally a “program site” under the umbrella of Good Samaritan Services.

“This merger has been a long time coming, with more than a year of discussions, planning and praying,” said Nate Hoffer, Executive Director of Good Samaritan Services.  “Two powerful, impactful ministries that have been operating for many years alongside of each other have now come together for good; for the good of the Chester County and Lancaster County communities and for the good of the clients that we serve.

In combining forces, the new Good Samaritan Services will serve close to 200 men, women and children every day in shelter and housing programs.  In addition to emergency shelter, transitional housing and long-term affordable housing, the organization will provide rental assistance, financial stabilization, employment services, mentoring, parenting classes and family-building services.

All four office locations will remain open: two in Chester County – Phoenixville and Coatesville; and two in Lancaster County – the City of Lancaster and Ephrata.  In addition, all Bridge of Hope Lancaster & Chester County staff will remain, joining together with Good Samaritan Services staff.

Good Samaritan Services began as Good Samaritan Shelter in 1999 through a collaborative effort of several Phoenixville area churches and other community supporters.  Together, they sought a compassionate response to the needs of people experiencing homelessness.  Good Samaritan now owns eight properties in Chester and Lancaster Counties, helping hundreds of men, women and children each year.

Established 30 years ago, Bridge of Hope Lancaster & Chester Counties was borne from a group of churches united by a deep sense of Christ’s call to compassion for homeless single mothers and their children.  The Bridge of Hope ministry model was built on a three-way partnership between homeless families, trained church-based mentoring groups and professional social work and education staff.

“This merger brings together two non-profits whose missions, Christian foundations and geographies are similar. What previously set us apart was our range of services.  It truly is a cause for celebration because together we can reach out and embrace our neighbors in new ways, offering hope, homes and eventually independence to those experiencing homelessness,” added Hoffer.

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