Good Sam’s Neighbors Speak Out

The group of homeless men who were creating havoc on the corner of Seventh and State in
downtown Garland have moved on. They are apparently no longer camping on the premises of
the Mayanmar Church.
The chronically unhoused continue to gather around the neighborhood of Good Samaritans of
Garland, Inc., located at 214 N. Twelfth Street. After many years of functioning as a food pantry,
serving Garland, Sachse and Rowlett residents experiencing food insecurity, they broadened
their reach and services. Exactly when they became a homeless outreach center, as stated on
their website, is something we have yet to determine.
The neighbors we have spoken to have stated that they had no problem with the food pantry, as
it operated for many years. It has been with the influx of chronically homeless folks, mostly
coming from Dallas, that have created the current set of problems for the neighborhood. Good
Sam neighbor Doug Hayek has called the Garland Police Department many times to report
dangerous situations occurring on his property, or emanating from the Good Sam premises.
While he was at the front of his house working on Christmas lights, a guy suddenly appeared
behind him, yelling obscenities, and a woman was lying either sleeping or unconscious on the
side of his house, with legs extending out into the street. A woman came to his door offering
sexual favors, and repeated the offer to his adult son hours later. He mentioned blood curdling
screams coming from the Good Sam property late at night recently, and again the police were
called. His list goes on and on, and he has video to back up his claims, which he has shared
with the executive director of Good Sam.
Living just across the alley from Good Sam, Zarael Castillo, has his own list of complaints, but
emphasizes that he had no problem when folks were merely picking up groceries from the food
pantry. His list of complaints, as Mr. Hayek’s, involved the disturbances created by the feral folks
being drawn to the homeless outreach center. He mentioned that nothing seems to have
improved since a group of neighbors attended and spoke at a City Council meeting in May of

  1. Maybe they’re not sleeping overnight on the premises, but the center seems to be offering
    the same list of services, such as the truck provided for showers, and the Parkland mobile
    medical services van. Mr. Castillo is concerned about the truck that comes every Tuesday to
    provide showers, completely blocking the alley for the entire day.
    Other neighbors told us that they didn’t feel it was safe to let their grandchildren play outside
    when they came to visit, and woke up several times a night, checking out sounds outside their
    homes. After being away for a short trip, a couple of the homeowners returned home to find a
    couple living inside one of their vehicles. A gentleman who lives a couple of blocks away, on

Twelfth and Avenue A. He was accosted in his front yard by one of the feral folks who
threatened his life and announced that he was going to kill everyone at Garland High School.
Officer Wendy Sheriff advises that such threats should be taken seriously, because if the threat
comes from an individual on drugs, anything is possible.
So who are the Good Sam Board of Directors, and when did they vote in favor of becoming a
homeless outreach center as opposed to formerly operating as just a food pantry? Did they
apply for all the necessary amendments required for licensing, permits, insurance, etc.? Were
their bylaws amended, as well? Here is their Board of Directors as posted on the Good Sam
Russell Duckworth – Chair
American Bank Business Finance, VP
Patricia Meyer – Chair Elect
American Airlines, Flight Attendant
Monica Narvaez – Secretary
MKim Legal, Partner
Cynthia Rodriguez – Treasurer
Epiroc, Product Manager
Lakisha Culpepper, Director
Garland ISD, Community Liaison

Mechelle Davidson, Director
Origin Consulting, Consulting Manager
Alexander Helgar, Director
Garland Chamber of Commerce, Director of
Business and Membership Development
Kerry Hoffer, Director
Hello Deluxe Carwash, General Manager
Julian Olalde, Director
Farmers Insurance, Owner

Is there a Board of Directors meeting schedule available? Would outsiders be permitted to
attend? Where do the meetings take place? We have been unable to access this information.
Brent Brawley has gone door to door to get a petition signed, and would like to attend a board
meeting, if possible. Mr. Brawley and all those we have spoken with believe that those
chronically unhoused folks need professional help, not enabling. In an ideal world those folks
would be given drug rehab, psychiatric treatment, or whatever other professional assistance
they need to lift them up and get them off the streets. The first step would be to relocate the
homeless outreach center to a more appropriate location. A property with the space to provide
for and better serve those who are currently gravitating toward the obviously inadequate Good
Samaritans of Garland.
Nancy Ghirla