The mission of Good Samaritan Community Services is to serve as a catalyst for change, supporting youth, individuals, and families by providing excellent community services to overcome economic poverty.
Our ministry began on September 8, 1939. On that day the Rev. Everett Jones, Rector of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, (fourth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas) convened the board of St. Mark’s Community House for its first meeting at 239 Blum Street in downtown San Antonio. Committees were formed which met over the next three weeks that called for the “following activities to be untaken as soon as possible, Kindergarten, Library, Story Hour, Supervised Play Saturday morning, sewing for girls, workshop for boys.” At its September 25th meeting the board made plans for what would become its future relationship with the City of San Antonio. A notice was to “be sent each agency in the city, telling them of our work and that we wish to cooperate with them in every way possible, that our work would not overlap theirs since ours is to be along Educational line[s].
The ministry formed in these first few years was known as the Episcopal Community House. On January 30, 1951, the Annual Council of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas convened by Bishop Jones resolved that the “Episcopal Community House is now a diocesan institution and is supported by the missionary budget of the Diocese”. Shortly thereafter, the first meeting of the board of directors of Good Samaritan Center was held on March 1, 1951. Rev. Gosnell, Rector of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church (fifth Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas) was elected a member of the Executive Committee. Rev. Gosnell led several initiatives regarding the further evolution of this ministry and reported on building plans for a permanent facility, the pledges made by churches of the Diocese and the pledged support by the Community Chest, today’s local United Way agency. Construction at 1600 Saltillo Street an area known as the “death triangle” due to the high incidence of disease and the impact on children, began on April 3, 1951.
Today, 71 years later The Good Samaritan Center of San Antonio has evolved into a charitable entity organized for exempt purposes under state and federal law. Good Samaritan has been a longstanding partner of the City of San Antonio, the United Way and many other entities providing comprehensive services to more than 4,500 individuals and 1,100 families in Central and South Texas via the services provided by three Departments, Child Development Services, Youth and Teen Services and Family Services.
Good Samaritan actively serves as a place of change, supporting thousands of our neighbors working to improve their lives and to overcome the challenges of poverty.