BANGOR — On Oct. 14, 1902, Good Samaritan Home Association was founded by women from many area churches. When the organization began serving the community, Theodore Roosevelt was President, a quart of milk cost 9 cents and the Wright brothers had yet to launch their first successful airplane. The nonsectarian, nonprofit agency will incorporate the theme of the 120th anniversary into activities throughout the year. Later this month, children who attend the agency’s childcare program will form the number 120 with rubber ducks as part of the annual rubber duck race fundraising event.
In the early 20th century, single women who were pregnant came to the Good Samaritan Home Association from many counties in Maine. They were provided with room and board and were required to stay at the home six months after their baby was born. Many of the mothers were helped to find work in Bangor while their babies were cared for at Good Samaritan. In 1909, Good Samaritan began providing adoption services.
Known as the Good Samaritan Agency since the late 1950s, the organization has evolved to meet community needs over the past many decades. The Agency continues to serve single parents, adoptive families, and young children from throughout Eastern and Northern Maine.
In the 1950s, Good Samaritan closed its residential program as social norms changed and women preferred alternative living arrangements during and after their pregnancy. The Agency continued to provide services and support to single parents.
Recognizing that pregnant teenagers often dropped out of school, the Agency established the Teen Parent Education Program in 1984. For 38 years, the TPE Program has helped hundreds of young women between the ages of 14 and 20 to earn their high school diploma. The students also learn parenting and life skills and are provided support of a professional social work staff and on-site childcare. The demand for high-quality childcare prompted Good Samaritan to expand its facility to its current location on Ridgewood Drive in Bangor in 1999. The Agency provides childcare, with a curriculum focused on developmental milestones and school readiness, for children from six weeks of age to 5 years old.
“Good Samaritan Agency has had an immeasurable impact on my life. When I became pregnant at 16, I was fortunate to learn about the Teen Parent Education Program. The education I received gave me the confidence to continue on and earn my bachelor’s degree at Husson,” a Teen Parent Education graduate.
“The Good Samaritan Agency assisted us in making our dream or having a family come true, an adoptive family.