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Mother rebuilding life through support from Good Samaritan Shelter

For the past six months, Glenda Hall and three of her children have called Good Samaritan Shelter their home.

“It was a bad breakup,” said Hall. “A friend suggested this place and I was scared at first. I didn’t know what to do or where to go and I came here and it’s been good ever since.”

While six months pregnant, Hall and her kids arrived at the Good Samaritan’s emergency shelter in April with little more than each other.

“I needed help and Good Samaritan was there to help me out,” said Hall. “I had nowhere to go and Good Samaritan was there to help me out and pick me up.”

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After a few weeks in the emergency shelter, Hall and her family transitioned to Good Samaritan’s family shelter next door.

Several months later, through the support system provided by the shelter, Hall is in the process of rebuilding her life.

“I have a counselor to talk to,” Hall said. “I have a place to stay with my kids. I’m not on the streets. I have a safe place to be at. Everyone here is like family to me.”

The family emergency shelter is a multi-room housing facility located on the Good Samaritan campus on Morrison Street in Santa Maria. Families can live there anywhere from six months to two years.

“It’s extensive case management,” said Kirsten Cahoon, Good Samaritan Director of Shelter Operations. “It has less rules than we have in the emergency shelter, so clients can be in during the day, but it allows them to work full-time jobs, continue saving money, get all their housing applications, and be a stepping stone into permanent housing.

Hall is using her time there to reach three important life goals she has set for herself.

“Number one, I want to look for a job, because I am a medical assistant,” said Hall, who aspires to return to college to pursue a nursing career. “The second one would be a car. Third, and most important, would be a house and everything else in between is one step at a time.”

Hall acknowledges the support she receives at the shelter can only go so far.

“People are helping me here at Good Samaritan, but they can’t do the work for me, and they haven’t,” Hall said. “They’ve been helping, but I also have to be able to put in the work too, and that’s what I’ve been doing. I have goals and I’m going to get there.”

Next week, Hall will be one of dozens of Good Samaritan clients who will enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal at the shelter provided in large part from donations received during the KCOY Turkey Drive.

“Those turkeys will go towards their dinner that night and at our emergency shelter, which on Monday had over 120 people spent the night, and over 30 of those were children,” said Cahoon. “So we’re going to be feeding all of them on Thanksgiving, and all of our newly permanent housing (clients). We’re hoping to be giving them all a turkey.”

As for Hall, she says she’s grateful for what she now has, thanks to her time spent at Good Samaritan Shelter.

“Thanksgiving here, with me family away from my family, is great. It means everything to me,” said Hall.

The KCOY Turkey Drive will be held Thursday, Nov. 17 from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at various locations.

Turkeys, non-perishable food and monetary donations will be accepted at the KCOY building in Santa Maria, Lompoc City Hall, California Fresh Markets in Pismo Beach and San Luis Obispo, the new Food Bank Coalition of San Luis County headquarters in San Luis Obispo and Albertsons in Paso Robles.

Donations taken in Santa Barbara County will benefit Good Samaritan, while those taken in SLO County will benefit Food Bank.

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