By Charlie Artz
I’m a local attorney with my offices located in downtown Harrisburg. Working in the City for over 30 years (as a lawyer and in and around the legislature), I have a sense of both the progress and the challenges that this City and its residents face.
One of the unrelenting and growing challenges involves men, women and children who find themselves in various stages of homelessness. Statistics documenting homelessness in this City reveal a 40% increase over the past 5 years. One organization who has been a major player in reaching the homeless in the Harrisburg region is Bethesda Mission. I have been supporting this wonderful organization for 25 years.
One of the huge challenges Bethesda Mission has had to face is the burden of paying a mortgage needed to help complete the renovation of their iconic Men’s Shelter at 611 Reily Street. Two attempts to relocate the Shelter, denied by the City, meant a significantly increased cost to restore the over 100 year old former Pennsylvania Railroad YMCA; $4.6M with $2M raised left a $2.6M mortgage.
The “Do a 180 for Bethesda” Campaign has raised $1.1M to date leaving the Mission with $1.5M. The annual mortgage payments amount to $130,000. Knowing the tremendous strain this places on Bethesda’s capacity to meet the increased demand for their services, I made the decision to continue to support this effort through monthly gifts to reduce and eventually eliminate this burden.
Bethesda Mission truly is reaching into this community – one man, one woman, one child at a time. Restoring broken lives of men and women struggling with addiction and abuse, and mentoring and nurturing kids, teens and families in their Herr Street Community Center, is the lifeblood of this over 100 year old organization whose foundation is the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I encourage you to join with me and others who are willing to continue to tell the story behind “Do a 180 for Bethesda”. Share the importance of helping lessen the burden of this mortgage freeing this impactful organization to reach more and more broken, hurting, lives who with our help can be restored. Just like the old landmark Men’s Shelter experienced a transformation, more importantly, we can ignite the opportunity to offer hope and healing to people who can and have been transformed!
If you would like to speak with someone about how you can “Do a 180 for Bethesda” please contact Scott Dunwoody at 717-257-4442 ext. 229 / email@example.com
Or simply designate your next donation to “Do a 180.”