Downes to Take “Next Step” from Samaritan Ministry

  • David Downes

David Downes, Executive Director of Samaritan Ministry of Greater Washington and its Next Step Program for the past 10+ years, has announced that he will be leaving his position this spring to take his own “next step.” In describing the move, he says, “I’m not calling it retirement, just taking some time to decide what I want to do when I grow up – or if I even want to grow up at all!”

During Downes’ tenure at Samaritan Ministry, in addition to providing employment and other assistance annually to nearly 1000 people who are homeless or otherwise in need, the organization has expanded the number of its Partner Parishes from 38 to 50, streamlined its governance structure, created a small endowment fund, expanded its Anacostia and Arlington offices by moving them to houses owned by and co-located with two partner parishes, and has purchased the house that has served as its Northwest DC main office since 1994.

In announcing his departure, Downes said, “It has been my great good fortune to have been permitted the privilege of being Samaritan Ministry’s Executive Director for so long, and I am thankful for the opportunity to have worked with, and to have been a part of the incredible transformations in the lives of, so many people. And now the time has come for me to take my own next steps, to move on to what life has in store for me, and to make way for new leadership.”

Kurt Jacobs, President of Samaritan Ministry and its Board, said, “We have greatly appreciated having David at the helm of Samaritan Ministry for more than a decade and will miss him very much. He has been an inspiring leader whose talents have ranged from giving sermons about the Ministry at partner parishes to motivating staff, including volunteers, program participants and Board members. He has also overseen implementation of a major donor program including our annual Next Step Breakfast in May that has grown to be one of several mainstays of funding for the Ministry that have seen us through the recent economic downturn. For all of David’s many talents and his dedication to the work of Samaritan Ministry, we are very grateful.”

Samaritan Ministry plans to honor Downes at its Spring Gala on March 10 and has appointed a search committee to identify his successor. For details on the Spring Gala and the search committee, go to Applications and inquiries regarding the position of Executive Director should be directed to