In the late 1980s, Austin was seeing a significant change in demographics with Latinos from South America, Central America and Mexico migrating to the city. The Episcopal Diocese of Texas responded by founding El Buen Samaritano in a small rock house in South Austin.
El Buen Samaritano opened in June 1987 with a mission to strengthen Austin families in need. By 1993, El Buen Samaritano offered health services through a clinic which served 350 people, almost doubling the amount from the previous year. And as the number of clients increased, El Buen Samaritano’s programs also began to grow.
That year, the organization served 9,050 hot meals, distributed 1,400 food pantry bags, and gave away 900 items to children through a clothing closet. With the growing demand for services, former Executive Director Jaime Case launched Building Hope, a capital campaign to build a new campus in South Austin.
In 2003, the $7.3-million successful campaign resulted in an 11-acre campus in South Austin for more classrooms, a medical clinic, and a multipurpose building that would also house San Francisco de Asis Episcopal Church.
As an important mission of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, El Buen Samaritano’s success is the result of a clear vision and the dedication to see this vision through.
From a small stone house to the beautiful three-building campus the organization occupies today, the commitment, hard work, contributions and support staff, volunteers, funders and communities throughout the past 25 years have helped El Buen Samaritano continue to enrich Latino families and the community at large encouraging their growth and empowerment in society.