Decatur - It started in the basement of the Salvation Army. A coalition of four Decatur area churches started the Good Samaritan Inn to address the hunger needs of the community.
That first day in 1982 eleven meals were served. As the Good Samaritan Inn celebrates its 30th anniversary the need for hot meals on a daily basis is growing. "We're averaging across the year 300 people a day," Inn Director Brenda Pyatt told WAND News. "In the summer that's closer to 350, 375 a day when the kids are out of school."
Open seven days a week, at 920 N. Union Street, the Inn served 100,622 meals in the past fiscal year. "For 16 percent of the people who come here this is the only meal they get," Pyatt stated.
Sharon Curry comes to the Inn on a regular basis. "This helps me because I used to be homeless," Curry said. "It's a good agency."
The Good Samaritan Inn operates on donations. The community has always been generous and the Inn is hoping the donations pick up as demand grows for its services. The Inn faces a shortfall of $100,000 during the rest of the fiscal year and could be forced to cutback services. Donations can be mailed to the Inn at 920 N. Union Street, Decatur, Illinois 62522. Or, online at www.goodsamaritaninn.org.
"There are a lot of people who wouldn't eat if they didn't have this," Pyatt concluded.