Travel back to 1999...

Scotty Brown

Scotty Brown

Marketing & Communications Specialist

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I want to take you back to 1999… The world was in a frenzy about Y2K being right around the corner, Star Wars Episode I – The Phantom Menace released to mixed reception, the Game Boy Color was the hit toy of the holidays, and the New York Yankees won their 25th World Series Championship.

Here at Good Samaritan, 1999 was a very important step forward for how we served youth in foster care with the start of our Transitional Living Program.

There was a tremendous deficit of foster homes for older youth soon to age out of foster care in our community. Each year, we saw youth healing from trauma and graduating from our treatment program in Brighton without a family or foster home to return to.

The need for a Transitional Living program was dire.

Starting off with a 10-bed group home for youth 16-21 and a few apartments around Springfield, youth were able to have stability, a safe living environment, and prepare to live independently when they aged out of foster care.

As the years went on, the demand grew. More youth needed a second chance.

We dreamed of more apartments that youth could call their own close to their schools, work, and support systems. We dreamed of a group home that we could call our own so we could multiply our impact.

It was time to make that dream become a reality.

In 2010, we upgraded to our current location: Footsteps Darr House was built on Norton Road! This location was a game changer. Twenty young men now knew where their next meal was coming from and had a safe place to sleep AND got the support they needed to transition into adulthood.

Additionally, adding more apartments in our community gave foster youth a safe place to learn how to be an adult with direct staff support and guidance.

As we continued to grow, one question was in the front of everyone’s mind: When will we serve young women who need assistance in the community?

We heard the call and went to work!

In 2015 we were honored to open Laura’s Home in Willard, MO – a 10 bed group home for young women in foster care. We also expanded our apartment program to young women preparing to age out of foster care.

With this addition we officially became a coed organization!

The growth didn’t stop there.

In 2019 we opened Leonard’s Landing Apartments – eight apartments next door to our group home, Darr House. These apartments are perfect for youth who need more direct support before moving into a community-based apartment – an introduction to independence while still within earshot of staff who are there for support.

Right now, we serve 30 youth between both group homes, and 27 youth in apartments across the community. With this growth there is only one place to go: UP!

We are looking forward to continually serving more and more youth as the years go on and all of this wouldn’t be possible without YOUR tremendous support! 

This holiday season we are raising $100,000 for youth aging out of foster care.

Will you help us give even more youth a second chance?