- About Us
Samaritan House is committed to fostering personal safety, growth and self-sufficiency in adults and their children through the freedom from sexual assault, domestic violence, human trafficking and homelessness.Since 1984, Samaritan House has provided emergency and permanent housing, support services and community outreach to victims of domestic violence and homeless families. We own and operate 12 safe houses for emergency shelter for individuals and families fleeing violence and those at risk of losing their homes. Samaritan House also provides trauma informed services for violence victims and their children in transitional housing. In our emergency and permanent programs we shelter about 110 people per night as well as providing affordable housing at fair market value. Our children’s program works with our youth (approximately 65% of the people we serve) to establish healthy relationships, build self-confidence, increase academic performance, and ultimately break the cycles of violence and homelessness.
- Our Philosophy
Samaritan House programs and services are guided by the empowerment theory and model of practice. We involve ourselves in the change process by developing a helping relationship with each individual based on trust and shared power. We believe that all people have the capability of improving their own lives and we respect the right to self-determination by each person. We build upon an individual’s identified strengths, mobilize resources, and teach new skills that will directly improve the interactions between each person and the various systems they interact with in order to survive and thrive.We recognize that family violence is a complex social problem and not the effect of individual deficits. We maintain the empowerment perspective and believe that battered women and men are not victims of violence by choice and that given adequate support, resources, and opportunities, they will choose violence-free lives for themselves and their children.We acknowledge that discrimination, economic deprivation, and oppression impede a person’s ability to move from poverty and homelessness to economic stability. Our advocacy efforts secure resources and services that individuals and families are entitled to and are unable to obtain on their own. We are dedicated to serving the community and offer hope, healing, and change to all those who seek out Samaritan House services.
- Our History
In 1984, the Virginia Beach interfaith community, which offered support to the Virginia Beach Department of Social Services, found that many service agencies were asking for assistance in providing shelter and food for homeless families. As the need was becoming more than the individual churches had the resources to meet, a task force was formed to address local and regional homelessness, and a four-bedroom shelter for homeless families was opened in 1985 and Samaritan House was born.Under the name of Virginia Beach Ecumenical Housing, Inc., Samaritan House was incorporated in 1984 and opened its first shelter in 1985 for homeless families. Within five years, Samaritan House expanded services to respond to homelessness resulting from domestic violence, beginning the mission of domestic violence crisis intervention and prevention.Samaritan House participates in the Regional Crisis Response, a 24-hour crisis hotline and provides emergency shelter, transitional housing, low cost affordable housing and supportive services that promote safety, self-sufficiency and healing to families in crisis and victims of domestic violence. In addition to our housing units, we operate the Patricia and Douglas Perry Safe Harbor Center. This facility is used for our children’s program, various support and training groups, the Victim Advocacy Program, our case management staff, our intake department, and our administrative offices.
Samaritan House is dedicated to identifying and eliminating the root causes of homelessness and violence in any form wherever possible through education, advocacy, community outreach and intervention. Our Prevention & Education programs present workshops and trainings to middle school, high school and college students; the medical community; law enforcement, the faith-based community, civic organizations, the military, and the general public. We host awareness campaigns throughout the year and participate in legal advocacy efforts on issues related to domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking.
The increased diversity in Hampton Roads has added cultural, social and economic benefits to our community. Samaritan House is sensitive to the fact that oppressed groups often encounter marginalization and face barriers to receiving support services. We seek to increase access and inclusivity, especially for those who are marginalized, disadvantaged or oppressed. Samaritan House strives to promote equal access to all individuals in need of support services. Samaritan House offers housing, case management, counseling, victim advocacy, transportation, medical assistance, food assistance, group therapy, job training and more to individuals and families experiencing domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking or homelessness. We offer these services free from discrimination based on ethnicity, language, race, age, ability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, family status, income, immigrant or refugee status, nationality, place of birth, political or religious affiliation.
Take A Tour
While our emergency shelters are scattered at undisclosed locations across Hampton Roads for the protection of our clients, our regional headquarters in Virginia Beach is open to the public for scheduled tours. Our supporters are encouraged to witness firsthand how we achieve our mission and meet our dedicated staff and interns. We welcome the opportunity to meet you and give you a tour to showcase the latest changes and updates to the programs we provide. Contact Tom Higgins to schedule a tour of the Samaritan House office.
Publications & Media
To stay informed on the latest news regarding our programs, services, events, and ways to get involved, we invite you to stay in touch through the various publications we produce.
Subscribe to our e-mail newsletter to stay up-to-date with community events, news and updates. You can add your e-mail to our list by clicking HERE.