Words from the Board

By Justin Feltman

PJGAug2016_20-049-Edit-X2 (1) (1)Paul Gallagher, a Principal at Deloitte, has served on Samaritan Inns Board for more than eight years. We sat down with Paul and asked him a few questions about his work with Samaritan Inns.

Why did you join the Board?

“I have been blessed in many aspects of my life and believe in giving back to society. [Attending Dinner Fellowship] opened my eyes to what people with addictions have to deal with. That meal just sort of humanized our clients a lot for me.”

Can you talk about the differences, progress or challenges that we’ve achieved since you’ve joined the board? 

When I joined the board, our board was in a major transition period. We had some board members that had been around since the beginning and were leaving the board.

And we were also experiencing a major exodus of major donors [due to the 2008 financial crisis]. [We] needed a primal shift. I think Larry did a masterful job, in terms of diversifying the funding sources away from just private donors, to tapping into the public funds that are available to, to fund treatment. Obviously it was a difficult path to navigate, because you know, you want to stay true to the mission and values of what Killian had set up. Yet, you want to help our program grow and evolve.

What is one challenge Samaritan Inns currently faces?

“Delivering a service the community desperately needs in a highly regulated environment where the rule sets are not well defined is a tough enough challenge. We also need to identify and connect with donors who believe in our mission. Some of the stories I’ve heard, it’s a highly personal connection—like someone dealing with addiction in their family—It’s tough…it’s something we have to overcome; people’s belief systems that, ‘Oh they made their bed now they have to lie in it.’

There’s a stigma…but I think there’s a lot of other factors in life that lead them to develop addictions.”

What is on the horizon for this year?

“As an organization, we need to make sure the Women with Children Program continues to be successful. Because, it’s a growth area and it’s such an underserved need in the community. Also, I hope we can double or triple our social media followership. It would be great if we could establish an ‘Adopt a Client’ program…where donors could establish a personal connection with our clients.“

How can someone get involved with our mission?

“Donate to Samaritan Inns – every dollar matters. Come volunteer through preparing and serving a fellowship meal. Tell your friends and families about Samaritan Inns’ mission and ask them to donate their time, talent and treasure to further the Samaritan Inns’ mission.”

Anything else you’d like to add?

“Being on the board is incredibly rewarding…knowing that we are making a difference in the lives of the men, women we serve. And I really hope that we can continue to grow the Women with Children Program because we are making it possible for mothers participating in our program to actually raise their children and make a difference in their lives.”

The Board at Samaritan Inns is integral to ensuring our mission to serve the most underprivileged members of our communities is successful. We are very proud to have Paul’s wisdom, dedication, and passion contribute toward our goal of breaking the generational cycle of substance use disorder and homelessness in our Nation’s Capital.

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