All Saints Community Center
c/o All Saints Episcopal Church
213 Madison Ave, Lakewood, NJ 08701-3316
732-367-0933

 Testimonials 

Anthony - May, 2016

To whom it may concern:

My name is Anthony xxxxx. I currently reside at Samaritan House. Since coming here, my life has changed dramaticly. I can say without a doubt I would not be alive with out the help of this program and it's director. I came here a broken, homeless, drug addict, shell of a man with nothing going for myself except still being alive. Although this transformation has been far from easy, with the help of Mr. Gotay we have made strides that alone I was unable to accomplish in the past 6 years.

Most importantly I can say I am a high school graduate. The persistance Mr. Gotay has shown in helping me reach my goals is un-heard of, he has gone above and beyond and I will be forever greatful. I have all my identification, a job through his contacts at the temp-agency, and I am about 2 weeks away from getting my CDL class A back. A feat I thought was impossible, but now within my grasp. The Samaritan House offered my a safe healthy environment to work on myself, through the NA Program and to many to count counseling sessions with Mr. Gotay. The confidence I have gained here made me realize anything is possible if I continue to work hard and stay sober. Most importantly my relationship with my children has changed from dissapointing them to putting a smile on there face everytime I see them.

The Samaritan House and its director has done so much for me and my family, which include family counseling, employment, education and one on one counseling. The brotherhood here is unbelievable and motivates each and every one of us to stay sober. I absolutely love this place and would recommend any one looking for change.

Sincerely,
Anthony xxxxx

Mark - April, 2016

To whom it may concern:

Samaritan House has offered me a safe & secure place, to start the first day of the rest of my life – sober.

I'm making the most of my time at the Samaritan House. I'm putting my life in order so when I leave I will have a plan in place.

Samaritan House is a brotherhood and Alex Gotay is the older brother who we all turn to for guidance and knowledge.

I believe God guided me to the Samaritan House – With all my heart.

So far my experience here has given me structure – responsibility along with the ability to open up & express myself.

It is a growing experience & journey that is not complete. But I do plan to graduate.

Mark xxxxx

Andrew - March 15, 2016

To whom it may concern:

The Samaritan House is a gift from God. When I got out of jail, I didn't have any place to stay. With the help of Jesus Christ, He led me to the Samaritan House. Life is a journey and it's full of choices we have to make everyday. But I can happily say, I'm so glad that I was led here. Alex, the Director, welcome me with open arms, he was like a mentor to me. He knew what I've been through because he been through it. It should be more Samaritan Houses across the world to give people second chances to get back on their feet. Alot of people don't realize how close they're of being homeless without any family. But the great thing about the Samaritan House it feels like family here. We cook, and attend meetings and also do the soup kitchen, and attend A.A. meetings. My experience here I will remember and always come back to donate things for the community and for the rest of my life. I know the Samaritan House is a gift from God because theirs a Church upstairs!! Now that's the truth!!

Sincerely,
Andrew xxxxx

Christopher - May 14, 2015

For those of you of whom I have not had much or recent contact with in some time allow me to reintroduce myself; My name is Christopher xxxxx, to some of you am I was “defendant”, “client”, inmate, suspect, alcoholic, another homeless dope fiend, perhaps another drain on the local economy. All of which were true at this time last year. I own what my addiction allowed me to become. The purpose of this letter is to THANK YOU and to reassure you when your particular job seems not to be worth it as it some days will, what you do definitely DOES change and save lives!

Judge Daniels released me on recognizance last January from Ocean County Jail and in a follow up appearance he granted me the opportunity for Pre-Trial Intervention, he gave me a chance. I would like to be able to say that I was able to turn my life around at that point, however that wasn’t the case. I was able to care for my sister for the next month until she passed away at 42 years old from alcohol related disease. I cannot thank you enough for allowing me that time sir. After my sisters passing my attempt to “control” my addiction failed miserably at best recollection. I finally had enough and sought help when I had my suicide plan by overdose all played out in my head. I thank God I made the call to my friend Dan Mathis who with the help of his wife Deb, and the United Way of Ocean County I was able to get into rehab at Maryville and successfully completed the program. Upon leaving rehab I was still faced with homelessness and entering the world clean and sober. Again my friend Dan worked on my behalf until he found somewhere safe that I could go as being back in Little Egg Harbor was NOT an option if I wanted to stay committed to my sobriety. He found Alex Gotay and the Samaritan House in Lakewood. I was very scared when we came for my interview as I saw gang tags and syringes while checking out the area on my first day. During my interview process Alex Gotay stopped the interview and told me I would not have to meet with the Father of All Saints Church to determine my admission, he said he saw something in me (I still can’t figure out what because at the time I despised the person I had become) and he knew I could be successful. I completed the 90 day program at Samaritan House, during which time I was able to help Alex succeed in his goal to change from a “homeless shelter” to a transitional sober living facility, eventually being asked to join on staff as Assistant Director. I am currently still working with addicts seeking recovery and willing to do whatever it takes to get back to living vs just being alive. I have remained clean and sober since June 9, 2014. I am currently taking courses to continue my calling to help others that are still sick and suffering as a Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor. I have my own apartment. I am serving with Ocean County Task Force for Re-entry, I have the respect and trust of my family, friends and most importantly, my son is proud of his dad again. I LOVE my life now. I owe of each of you heartfelt thanks for helping me on this journey in some way. I know you all are very busy so I will save the individual stories for another time and allow you time to get back to your respected lives. But please as you read this know one thing, YOU MADE A DIFFERENCE!

I sincerely thank you and hope to be able to repay you in any way in the future.

Sincerely,
Christopher xxxxx

James - April 10, 2015

I am writing in reference to my experience at the Samaritan House in Lakewood as a resident. I was referred to the Sam House by “Maurice” at The Center as I am a client of the facility that was in need of transitional housing and supplemental counseling and life coaching in order to progress in my endeavors. I have found that both of these offerings were true and met with surprising expedience and focus on real life issues. These issues that have been addressed are the following:
  1. Housing: The term transitional housing was new to me but I have found that this term is appropriate as many opportunities have been provided other than just a roof over my head; i.e. a job, transportation advice, communication, career advice, etc. All of these needs have been met with urgency by the program at the Samaritan House.

  2. Counseling: As a recovering alcoholic I have found the Samaritan House to be a safe and sober environment for me. Also provided in this area was a surrounding where the embarrassment and self-deprecation was taken away. Also in counseling I recognized the grief issues that I have ignored for too long as I lost my mom, brother and recently my dad. I continue to address these losses more directly and honestly in order to cope and move forward and around these obstacles and I understand this loss factor as a part of life. Sad part but unavoidable.

  3. Life-Coaching: As a sober person I have found it to be not only a great way to live but also found the clarity of mind to pursue my career as an electrical project engineer again. I have moved forward in the industry once again and have high hopes for my future. Also as a sober person I have found new friends, repaired relationships and focus again on what is important to me in life and well being.
My experience at the Samaritan House has been nothing but positive and sobering to the root issues that have caused my stumbles and mistakes in my journey. The route seems so much clearer now that the fog is lifted and I am able to find joy in the real things that create happiness in life.

In regards to any foreseen pitfalls or failings in my experience at the Samaritan House I would gather to say that any failure or falls would be of my own doing for not using the tools provided by the House advisory persons for the opportunity to make changes and adjustments in my life for a successful and happy being.

I thank the Samaritan House for all of the aforementioned positive experiences and this opportunity to express my view of the program.

Sincerely,
James


John - February 11, 2015

What this program has done for me and how I've changed.

To be specific and to better help lend to the explanation, I'll start by mentioning that it has been 5 months since I used alcohol to treat physical and psychological issues in my body and mind. The majority of that sobriety time (3 months) occurred at Samaritan House under the guidence of Alex and Chris. The circumstances of my sobriety lie in direct correlation to the order of operations in which it all unfolded. It is of my strong contention that any other way, however slight the difference, getting sober would not have worked at all for me. I've tried to remove alcohol from my life many times in the past but never was able to get more than a few weeks at a time over the 10 years it took from me. Samaritan House was an ideal environment for me to implicate what I learned about sober living before jumping directly back into society. It offered an opportunity for me to safely interact with other people from the real world and work together with them to get our lives back in order, while still having an educated support system available that overlooked us in times that an answer to a problem was not apparent. If I didn't have that, I seriously doubt I would have made it this far on my own. Alex was adamant in the belief that one must learn to crawl before walking, and walk before running. Skipping a step simply would result in tripping, every time. I've come to believe this philosophy to be true. Samaritan House gave me the chance to leave the crawling stage and practice walking again. If I went to an in-patient program for 30 days and then went back to the real world, that would be like going from a crawl to a run. I've tried that before and was not able to do it. After leaving Samaritan House, I feel, think, and look better than I did coming into the program. The biggest and most valuable lesson I learned there is to address issues directly instead of ignoring them or letting them grow. Now that I am able to confidentially express what is bothering me about a given scenario that poses a problem, the likelihood of that issue turning into a reason for me to use has virtually been reduced to the point where it can't get a chance to take root in my mind. Without that method in my arsenal, I'd be weaponless against this addiction. I could go on in much further detail about how I've changed and grown over my stay there but in brief, the reasons I stated above were paramount to my success so far. I am willing and open to further discuss my journey into a better life with anyone reading this who is interested in finding out more about how I did it. I again want to reiterate my deep appreciation for the chance I was given at Samaritan House. It was a lifesaving experience and the effects of which have yet to fully become clear to me. That is how big this was for me. The change was so drastic and effective that I literally need more time to process the full magnitude of it all. I am left now to marvel in quiet awe, humbled by the true power of what can happen when met with people who have an intrinsic ability and desire to help someone on the brink of death. Thank you Alex and Chris, for bringing me back from oblivion.
Sincerely, John

Luke - August 24, 2014

I want to thank you and your parishioners for taking in and watching over my son, Luke xxxxxx, over this summer while he was in New Jersey. Your presenting him with Christ's love, through the people at your parish, taught Luke that the Church is more than a building & that it is a world-wide community.

Luke is now back in his school dormitory getting ready for classes that start tomorrow. His experiences this summer have helped him greatly by maturing.

At our home parish our rector has been concentrating on focusing us to care for & to show Christ's love to the disenfranchised people in our community. Your shelter sounds like a wonderful example of carrying on Jesus' Good News.

Peace & Thank You,
Luke's folks