Samaritan House

14 Emergency Shelter Beds, 6 Supportive Housing Beds

Samaritan House provides a variety of emergency and supportive housing options for women.

Vision

Samaritan House Vision

Staff at Samaritan House are dedicated to creating a safe, warm, welcoming environment and to providing emotional support and empathy at what is often the most vulnerable time in a woman's life. Women and Women with children may access the program directly or be referred by a community or government agency.

Meet Lisa, a woman with hope, who courageously shares about living without a home, finding support and compassion at Samaritan House, and making a new start.

Emergency Shelter Services at Samaritan House

Shelter services have been an integral part of the operation since 1989. They include:

  • Low Barrier Access: Neither sobriety nor mental health stability are required to receive services. Clients are generally only restricted from access if they become violent or abusive. Clients experiencing a mental health crisis are referred to the hospital or Health Authority outreach teams.
  • Essentials of Life: Bed, bedding, meals, access to showers and hygiene supplies as well as clothing.
  • Professional Support: on-site case management, referrals to community resources and programs. Shelter staff work with health authority outreach workers and nurses to encourage clients to recover from physical, emotional, and psychological setbacks.

Supportive Housing (Martha's Place) Samaritan House CNOY 2014

Supportive Housing is defined by BC Housing as, "housing for residents who cannot live independently and who are not expected to become fully self-sufficient. There is no limit on the length of stay. This form of housing provides ongoing supports under a 'Housing First' model. It allows people the opportunity to achieve a level of health and stability without the fear of homelessness."

Supportive Housing Services include:

  • Low Barrier Access: Neither sobriety nor mental health stability are required to receive services. Clients are generally only restricted from access if they become violent or abusive. Clients experiencing a mental health crisis are referred to the hospital or Health Authority outreach teams.
  • Private Accommodation: Units are a private secure room with access to shared washroom facilities.
  • Meals: Evening meals are included.
  • Support: Clients have access to support workers, outreach workers, and case management.

Shortly after becoming an all-female shelter on September 1, 2007 Samaritan House began offering supportive housing to women who were not able to maintain stable housing elsewhere in the community. Funding and support for the supportive units came from Service Canada and the city of Nanaimo. In the fall of 2013 additional renovations were completed to increase the number of supportive units to 8. These 8 units were re-named "Martha's Place" as part of a 2 year pilot project developed in partnership with BC Housing.

Transitional Housing (Mary's Place)

In addition to Supportive Housing, Samaritan House staff oversee "Mary's Place" a high barrier transition house located near Woodgrove Mall. Mary's Place is also part of the 2 year pilot project which is designed to determine which types of housing best meet the needs of women who access shelter services in Nanaimo as measured by quality of life improvements and other factors.

Referrals

Referrals are received from the Salvation Army, the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation, the RCMP, after-hour and other programs under Island Health such as the Adult Mental Health and Substance Use Services, and the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.

Emergency shelter for men is provided by the Salvation Army at the New Hope Centre.

Volunteers

Volunteer with Quilt

Volunteers craft quilts for beds and as decor; paint, shop, and provide other supports to clients. Student internships are available. If you are interested in serving as a volunteer at Samaritan House please visit our volunteer page for more details.

Donations

Because of the extremely limited space at Samaritan House we ask that donations of clothing be arranged in advance. If you have clothing or other items you would like to donate, please contact Ronell Bosman or Michelle Authier at 250-753-1474.

For financial donations, please visit our donations page. Core funding is provided by BC Housing and generous donations from businesses, service groups, churches and individuals. Infrastructure grants have been received from a variety of sources including Service Canada, BC Housing, the Vancouver Island Health Authority, and the City of Nanaimo.

Contact

355 Nicol Street
Nanaimo, BC
V9R 4T5
Tel: (250) 753 - 1474
Fax: (250) 753 - 1695