SAMMinistries is an interfaith ministry whose mission is to help the homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless attain self-sufficiency by offering, with dignity and compassion, shelter, housing, and services. Since 2008, SAMM has prevented 20,000 San Antonians from entering homelessness. Each night, SAMM offers 350 families a place to call home. In 2014, 98% of the families served through SAMM’s Homeless Prevention Program remained out of homelessness after 18 months.
Homelessness in the SA Metro Area
Homelessness is a real problem in San Antonio and its surrounding communities. We will get a new survey later this month to count current homeless, but 2015 numbers are available from SARAH, the South Alamo Regional Alliance for the Homeless. In 2015, there were 2,891 homeless individuals counted at the Point-In-Time (PIT) Count. The PIT Count is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and is used in determining federal funding for San Antonio’s homeless programs. 546 of these were children (average age of 6) and 309 of these were veterans. This total number has been largely steady for the last three years (2,892 in 2014 and 2,980 in 2013). SAMMinistries estimates the current San Antonio homeless population at approximately 3,211.
While 3,211 may not seem like a very large number in a city with a population of 1.4 million, the reality is that nearly 50% of San Antonio’s population is living with no savings, which puts them at a high risk of becoming homeless if they experience a loss of income. More than half of all homeless individuals in San Antonio cite a loss of income as their reason for homelessness, and affordable housing is the most requested service by homeless individuals in San Antonio.
SAMMinistries offers the following services:
- Homeless Prevention: Providing rental assistance, utility assistance and supportive services to enable individuals, families, veterans and seniors who are in imminent danger of eviction avoid homelessness.
- Transitional Housing: SAMMinistries offers 65 families transitional housing through individual homes in San Antonio, as well as the Transitional Living and Learning Center (TLLC). The Transitional Housing program provides housing, support and resources to families who show a commitment to gaining self-sufficiency. The individual needs of all family members are supported for a two-year period, promoting the viability of the family as a whole while they transition out of homelessness.
- Rapid Re-Housing: The Rapid Re-Housing program reduces the amount of time a family experiences homelessness and rapidly re-houses families into permanent, affordable homes. Financial assistance is provided for up to 3 months along with 12 months of case management.
- Permanent Supportive Housing: Permanent Supportive Housing assists and empowers families to live as independently as possible. SAMMinistries has a permanent housing program that assists families with whom one member of the family has a disability. SAMMinistries also manages 100 set-aside housing vouchers to help families find permanent housing in the private rental market.
- Supportive Services: In order to serve their clients and the community holistically, SAMMinistries offers supportive services to all program participants to support them spiritually, mentally and physically. These services include spiritual services, educational assistance, wellness classes and employment development.
What are we doing to help?
February Nerd Night on February 12th will specifically be targeting item collection for “Welcome Baskets,” given to each family as they enter SAMMinistries’ Transitional Housing program. These baskets give families much-needed household goods as they begin their journey to self-sufficiency. We will collect the following items at Nerd Night and deliver them to SAMM’s donation center.
Dish Sets & Large Plastic Cups
Pots & Pans
Cooking Tools (ex: wooden spoons)
Oven Mitts & Pot Holders
Sheet Sets: Twin & Full
Comforters: Twin & Full
Towel Sets: Bath, Hand & Washcloths
Buckets & Sponge Mops
Antibacterial Wipes & Bleach
Brooms & Dustpans
Toilet Brushes & Toilet Cleaner
Garbage Cans & Trash Bags, 13-gallon