Learn more about how we're expanding our impact in the Harrisburg community:
On Friday, June 19, 2015, settlement occurred on the former printing company property adjacent to our current Youth Center on Herr Street. Acquiring this property has been an item of seemingly unrealistic hopes and prayers for many years now, but last summer the owner divulged his intention to sell. Gifts from generous donors has made this dream a reality. Praise God!
The .55 acre property, which includes a 10,000 sf building and outdoor space, will significantly increase space for programs, dinners, and recreational areas, as well as create an outdoor play area and parking spaces. The potential of this project is very exciting as we envision doubling the amount of kids and families we are able to reach, having a greater impact in the surrounding Harrisburg community.
Over the next few months, we will develop details for renovating the existing Youth Center, then, during the fall of 2015, foundations will be solicited to fund a major portion of the improvements. Then we will approach our donors and the community to bring this project to the finish line.
Please keep us in your prayers as the planning stages for this renovation continue with schematics and cost estimates being finalized. Pray that we would have clarity and unity of vision and that God would continue to bless this crucial ministry for many years to come.
Last summer, Bethesda Mission celebrated the “Reality” of wonderfully constructed and equipped new Medical and Dental Clinics; a 4000 square foot, 2-story addition on the west side of the Men’s Shelter. We praise God for this “new place” to continue delivering exceptional health care to homeless and uninsured individuals with debilitating physical, mental and emotional needs.
Two individuals were the keys to establishing our Medical and Dental Clinics. Dr. Ted Bollard, MD, Penn State Hershey internist, Director of the Internal Medicine Residency Training Program, while he was in residency, worked with some medical students to establish LionCare, a student-run weekly clinic
at Bethesda in 1991.
The beginning of the Dental Clinic was borne by the vision of Dr. David Russell, DMD, who has a private practice in Millersburg, PA. After touring Bethesda’s facilities in 2009, Dr. Russell said if we would build a dental clinic on our site he will come and manage it.
23 years from its inception, Bethesda’s Medical Clinic has grown to 5000 patient visits in 2013. Five years since beginning the Dental Clinic, it recorded 250 patient visits in 2013.
Demand in the shelter has been steadily increasing, particularly during the cold, winter months. We never turn away anyone for capacity reasons when the weather becomes as hazardous to life and limb.
Our Men’s Shelter has 78 beds. Over the winter, we reached 160 men in the house. That means we’ve put dozens of men on mats on the floor of the chapel, into the hallways, and in meeting rooms. But they are not on the street.
To alleviate the overcrowding, we are planning an “EastSide” project: new, 3-story structure, estimated at $1.6M. It would include 2 stories of dormitory space, expanded/renovated kitchen & cafeteria space, and donation center. After we receive zoning approval from the City, we hope to expand dorm capacity to 125 beds.
The Women & Children’s Shelter has been operating since 1983. The buildings are over 100 yrs. old needing frequent, costly repairs. There are two options – stay or go.
Thankfully, Bethesda has been blessed with $800,000 estate gift reserved for this project; provides huge incentive for grants and individual gifts. In the meantime, we are reevaluating programming and capacity. Please pray for wisdom as we make this decision over the coming year.