ICCS established Samaritan House as its flagship program more than 30 years ago, providing a safe, warm shelter environment for women in crisis, offering emotional support, nourishment, hygiene and referrals to community resources and programs. Built on principles of care before judgement, Samaritan House provided a much-needed haven of stability for women entering its doors in crisis and changed many lives in the process.
After a call to expand Samaritan House, the “More Room for Hope” campaign began in 2017 to raise support for a bigger, better space for more individuals in crisis. In 2020, this effort took a grand leap ahead with a commitment from BC Housing and support from the City of Nanaimo and partners to create a new space for both crisis and longer term supportive housing.
After transitioning to a temporary site on Prideaux Street in late 2020, the program will move late 2021.
Christened “Samaritan Place” to honour the legacy of the original Samaritan House, this new program offers supportive housing for both men and women, as well as 14 ‘Bridge to Housing’ beds for women in crisis and one Bridge to Housing unit for families in need.
Thus, the dream of Samaritan House – offering hope and change for those in crisis – continues in an even greater way, offering shelter and care for more people in need, and a step towards a more hopeful future.