In August of 2017, Lima’s Samaritan House celebrated thirty years of serving Allen and surrounding counties. Yet there are still so many right here locally who are either unaware of our existence or know very little about what we actually do for homeless and/or abused women and children.
Since 1987, Samaritan House has provided a home as well as hope for new beginnings for women in Northwestern Ohio. Prior to that time, homeless women and children were forced to live on the streets or in undesirable surroundings. Pastor Doneta Warren of the Living Waters Church decided to do something to help. She opened her home in 1986 to that segment of the population. Warren paid for the operation of that home with her own money, with her church helping with food and buying the personal items that were needed. Word spread about the service, and soon her small house was filled to capacity with women and children in need.
Churchpeople for Change and Reconciliation became interested and formed a task force to study the problem of homelessness in the area. One of the task force members, Rev. J. Norbert Howe of St. Rose Catholic Church, served on that committee and helped secure the use of his church’s former convent to house the homeless women and children.
The old convent became the “Samaritan House” and the first residents entered this new location on July 1, 1987. During that first year, over 250 women and children were served.
Lima’s Samaritan House is a thirty-eight room emergency shelter with seventeen bedrooms and seven bathrooms. Since 1987, the program has been providing food, shelter, and essential services to over 250 unduplicated homeless, and/or abused women and their children per year.
Women and children are referred to Lima’s Samaritan House by self-referral, churches, and other public and private social service agencies.
Clients eligible for services must have no permanent residence, be able to provide care for themselves and their children, and not pose a safety risk to themselves or others.
Lima’s Samaritan House can accommodate up to seventeen households at a time and up to thirty-eight individuals depending on the size of the households being served.