When it comes to helping people, it really does take a village

One of the best places to find people who are truly willing to help is the Florida Keys — and the staff and clients of Samuel’s House know that first hand.

Maria Protopsaltis of Samuel’s House joined Good Morning Keys on KeysTalk 96.9/102.5FM this morning to talk about the organization.

Samuel’s House is an emergency homeless shelter for woman and children and intact families. It was founded 23 years ago by Elmira Leto.

Protopsaltis said, “Around the holidays it actually gets a lot busier for a homeless shelter and our other two facilities are always full.”

There’s always a need for funding for Samuel’s House and one of the big fundraisers is the Polar Plunge.

Protopsaltis said, “Of course during the pandemic, with all the closures, we couldn’t have it, but it’s back by popular demand.”

The Polar Plunge will be held on February 12 at noon at Higgs Beach and it’s $30 to participate.

Protopsaltis said, “We are really excited. A lot of people come out in the frigid water. The polar bear will be there, of course. We’re really excited for this, especially after we got a taste of not being able to have it and now being able to do it again, it’s actually really great to be out with our people and to be there and just have this very traditional, very, very highly demanded event.”

Sponsorships are available for the Polar Plunge.

Samuel’s House also offers rent assistance, vouchers and food assistance programs for those who qualify and works with a number of other agencies, including AH Monroe, the United Way, the Florida Keys Outreach Coalition, Catholic Charities, Wesley House and Monroe County Continuum of Care.  

Protopsaltis said, “It takes a village. We really couldn’t do it without these other agencies and we’re proud to work alongside of them and support each other. It’s a tremendous thing to try to prevent homelessness. There’s a lot of different overlaps in services. We offer case management. We help them with their resume. We help them get jobs, but these are all a part of our network of referral sources. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to work alongside with them and help as many people as we do. Together we can actually help a lot more people. We’re very fortunate. This is a beautiful community, a very generous community. I definitely want to thank all of our supporters and those other agencies.”

Anyone in need of assistance, can log onto www.keyshelp.org

The Women of Integrity and Men of Valor is a ceremony that recognizes individuals in the community who give of themselves to help others.

That will be held on March 30.

Mike Stapleford of KeysTalk 96.9/102.5FM said, “That is one of the most inspiring events that I’ve seen in our community to date. It really is moving and inspiring to see people get recognized for all that they give to the community.”

Protopsaltis said, “I just want to say thank you to all of our volunteers from the high school to the nursing programs. I want to thank everyone who has contributed, who has donated their precious time and also who has contributed for Thanksgiving. Thank you so much to each and every one of you. I just want to express the utmost gratitude.”

For more information on Samuel’s House, click here: https://samuelshouse.org/