Carter Oosterhouse of HGTV to Headline Samaritas ‘Be the Rock’ Gala in Grand Rapids on September 18

Tickets are going fast!

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Samaritas, one of Michigan’s largest nonprofit health and human service organizations, is collaborating with Carter Oosterhouse of HGTV for its annual Be the Rock Gala in Hudsonville, Mich., on September 18, at the Pinnacle Center. Tickets for this exclusive event are available for a limited time. Sponsorships and ticket sales will bolster funding for essential health and human services Samaritas offers, such as affordable housing programs.

“The lack of affordable housing is the central sticking point for many of our clients,” said Samaritas Interim CEO Dave Morin. “We’re great at giving families and individuals the tools to keep them well, but if they cannot go home to a safe environment, it’s highly likely they’ll need to come back to us again for help.”

Stopping the cycle of generational poverty is a paramount concern for Samaritas. To help, the agency gives refugees, children in foster care, adults with developmental disabilities, and people struggling with substance use disorders access to a variety of programs to help them get on their feet. Samaritas also offers mental health case management and service coordination to break destructive behaviors and keep clients well. Many of these clients depend on Michigan’s limited affordable housing units to thrive.

The Be the Rock gala is a signature opportunity to raise awareness of the barriers and inspire people to partner with the agency in communities throughout Michigan. Carter Oosterhouse will offer a keynote address that addresses some of the barriers regarding affordable housing.

Carter Oosterhouse is one of America’s most recognized lifestyle experts, best known for having hosted many popular television series ranging from Trading Spaces, Carter Can, Red Hot & Green to Million Dollar Rooms and Celebrity Motor Homes. Carter is the co-host of ABC’s hit primetime series special The Great Christmas Light Fight, which airs its 10th season this year and was recently featured on two seasons of the Trading Spaces reboot.

City of Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss and representatives from Grand Valley State University (GVSU) and Trinity Lutheran Church will be recognized for their outstanding community support. Each will receive Samaritas awards for creating positive ripples of positive change throughout the community.

Visit for Be the Rock gala ticket information. 

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* Important Notice *

Earlier this year, Samaritas was under investigation by the state for allegations of abuse in our emergency shelter in Grand Rapids. We opened this shelter 26 months earlier for children from Central America crossing the border fleeing from horrible condition; we were asked to take in Afghan youth when there was no other place for them to go after the crisis in Afghanistan occurred. We accepted 19 youth in response to this request and our long-term commitment to help youth to the greatest extent possible at the time of their greatest need. Samaritas was one of several similar emergency shelters across the country asked to take in these refugee youth.

Due to the severe level of trauma they had endured, many of them required intensive therapy and counseling. As a result of the growing concern we had for the depth and breadth of those needs of the youth and the safety of our team, we made the decision to work with our referring partners to move the youth to other programs where they could access the higher level of trauma-informed care, supervision, and medical attention that they required. Due to state and federal oversight of our programs, we are unable to share specific details of the investigation but we were cleared of any abuse allegations by the state and all youth were transferred to appropriate residential placements where they could receive the care they needed. Samaritas continues to be a state and federal leader in refugee resettlement, including refugee foster care.


Please Contact:
Joe DiBenedetto
Lambert & Co.
(516) 637-0597

Matt Friedman
Tanner Friedman Strategic Communications
(248) 762-1430