FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: What is Tim’s House?
A: Tim’s House is an emergency shelter for people experiencing homelessness in the Franklin & Grand Isle area. Our shelter includes three large bedrooms with a shared kitchen/living room area as well as two 2-bedroom apartments above the main shelter.
Q: What’s the difference between Samaritan House, Tim’s House and The Lighthouse?
A: Samaritan House Inc. is an organization which has been helping people experiencing homelessness since 1993. The organizations oversees Tim’s House Emergency Shelter as well as The Lighthouse, which is a four-bedroom shelter for people aged 55+ who are experiencing homelessness.
Q: Do I have to pay to stay at Tim’s House or The Lighthouse?
A No. We never have nor will we ever charge people to stay in one of our shelters. We do typically require our guests to save a portion of their income while they stay with us. Those savings are kept in a secure area and released to the guests once they move on to stable housing.
Q: Is it true that I can’t stay at Tim’s House or The Lighthouse if I have a criminal record?
A: Absolutely not! Our organization believes that housing is a human right, regardless of any mistakes made in the past. Certain types of criminal history may require us to help you find shelter somewhere other than our main facilities, but our supportive services are available to everyone in need. If you are currently under DOC supervision, you may need a referral from your probation officer.
Q: I’ve heard that your shelter is a “program”, what does that mean?
A: What we offer is much more than a warm bed, though we know that’s the most important immediate service for people experiencing homelessness. Those who stay in our shelter also receive the support of an experienced case manager. Case managers help guests find affordable, stable housing and help with any barriers impeding the housing search (access to benefits, health care, mental health services, substance use disorder, etc.). Your case manager can stay with you even after you’ve moved out of shelter to continue providing support.
Q: Do I have to leave during the daytime if I’m a shelter guest?
A: No, the shelter is your home while you’re our guest and we believe you should have access when you need it. Guests are free to come and go as needed.
Q: How long can I stay at the shelter?
A: Our goal is to get you into your own housing as soon as possible, ideally in under 45 days. However, every person’s housing journey is different and some may need to be in shelter shorter or longer than others. As long as our guests are respecting the shelter, staff and other guests and participating in their housing journey, they are welcome to stay.
Q: How can I come stay at Tim’s House or The Lighthouse?
A: Give us a call or stop by if you are in need of shelter. We’ll fill out one quick form to determine where the best facility is for you and get you assistance immediately. If our shelters are at capacity, we will connect you with another service who can provide emergency housing until a bed opens up at the shelter.
Q: I need shelter for myself and my children, can you help with that?
A: We serve both individuals and families, we will always make sure your family stays together when you come to our shelter.
Q: What if I’ve heard bad things about your shelter?
A: We hope you’ll give us a shot if you’re in need of our services. Samaritan House has helped hundreds of people over the past 30 years and we take great pride in our longevity and ability to help our neighbors. We do our best to assist absolutely everyone while acknowledging that our facilities are not the perfect fit for every person. Our shelters are extremely clean and safe and our staff is very dedicated to simplifying your housing journey.
Q: I don’t have stable housing but I don’t want to stay in a shelter, can you do anything to help me?
A: Of course! Our help is not limited to those staying at Tim’s House or The Lighthouse and we never require anyone to utilize a particular service. We have a supply of gently used clothing, new hygiene items, camping gear and household goods we can provide to those in need. People without a stable home are also welcome to visit us during business hours to take a hot shower or do a load of laundry. We’re also happy to connect you with other local service providers who may be able to offer you further assistance. Come see us if you have any need, not just a desire to stay in the shelter.
Q: I appreciate what you do for the community, how can I help Samaritan House?
A: There are many ways you can support our organization. We are a 501c3 organization, so your monetary donations are welcome and tax deductible. But even if you aren’t able to give financially, there are many ways you can help us:
-Volunteerism: We always need help at our front desk, cleaning our facilities and organizing donated items. Give us a call to see how you can help!
-Donate an item: We usually accept new clothing and new hygiene products. Storage space is limited, so please call ahead to confirm our ability to accept a donation.
-Participate in our events: Reach out to us about being a sponsor or participant for our annual golf tournament, October’s “A Walk In Their Shoes” or our $5 Fridays on Facebook.
-Word of mouth: Just encourage others to support our mission, promote legislation which helps people experiencing homelessness, like us on Facebook (facebook.com/samaritanhouseinc) and share our events. Our wonderful community is our biggest asset and sometimes warm encouragement is the best thing you can do for us!