Bethesda News

House of Mercy – Front Facade Facelift

You may have heard the story: trying to relocate our landmark Men’s Shelter twice in the early 2000’s, denied by the City, settling for having to renovate a 30,000 sf former Railroad YMCA building built in 1902. What would have cost $2.5M to relocate the shelter resulted in a $4.6M extensive restoration, funded by private donations of $2M and a $2.6M loan. Over the past decade this loan has been reduced to less than $1M with hopes to pay it off in the next 3-5 years; $1M was raised with a very successful 2-year campaign titled “Do A 180° For Bethesda.”

However the outside, especially the front façade, wasn’t renovated due to the additional cost. It has been over a decade with some upgrades inside to improve security and now it’s time to finish the job.

The outside of the shelter needs a major facelift – a refurbishing/restrengthening of columns, total painting of the front façade, deck, and front fascia brick, concrete restoration, landscaping, and possibly new banners with a message on them, with a message that is yet to be determined. It may potentially read “House of Mercy,” as the timeless meaning of the word “Bethesda.” Across from 611 Reily Street, the brand new 243,000 sf Federal Courthouse is scheduled to open for business in the fall of 2022. The $190M, coupled with major improvements to 7th Street just below our shelter, is quite an upgrade to the entire area. Our front façade facelift will cost approximately $75,000; we have already received $40,000. We are hopeful our targeted appeal in January and February will fully fund this vital facelift, and we can celebrate this coming spring with a special gathering to commemorate the accomplishment.

Everything we do to enhance our facilities emanates from the desire to provide the most conducive environment for giving our special guests the opportunity to experience real hope for life recovery. Shared below are two tremendous men who have experienced dark days and great struggles prior to walking under the Green Cross, entering our House of Mercy.

Comments are closed.