Bethesda News

Old Things Have Passed Away

Women’s Mission Shelter/Site Renewal Nearing Completion

Urgent Need – $300,000

A long-time dream for our Women’s Mission is finally coming into fruition with the completion of the site renewal! The new, four-story refuge was opened in the fall 2021, and now the outdoor improvements will be finished by May 2022. The outdoor grounds will include vegetable and flower gardens, prayer and meditation areas, play areas for children, grass and trees, security fencing and off street parking.

Our Women’s Shelter expanded from its 25-person capacity to accommodate 50+ women and children, replacing our over one-hundred year-old buildings with a new 18,400 square foot structure. The financial relief received from you, our donors, was astounding. Thank you so much for that contribution.

Now, this refuge is a home for 51 women in crisis, some with young children, who seek long-lasting, life recovery. Our programs house women for short and long-term stays who then move toward living independently, seeking a new life: a life filled with hope.

These programs include:

  • Short Term Recovery Program – offered to women & women with children who do not have a drug or alcohol recovery need; they commit to an 8 to 12-month program; can be employed or be going to school.
  • Long Term Recovery Program – offered to women & women with children in need of help to become free from substance abuse; commit to a 12 to 18-month program; not allowed to work or go to school until about 10-12 months in the program.
  • Young Adult Program – offered to young adult women ages 18-24 in need of short term housing; commit to an 8-12-month program; can be employed or be going to school (beginning in spring 2022).
  • Aftercare Program – available for graduates of recovery program – going to school, working, independent; stay in shelter ranging from 3-12 months with staff general support.
  • Emergency Chronic – one, two or several nights stay this shelter is not equipped to handle; need to show intention for minimum 6 month stay; referred to other agencies better equipped to handle.


Currently, we are seeking monetary donations for FFE (furniture, fixtures and equipment) that will enhance and secure the haven we have built to protect and empower the women in our care. Our remaining need is approximately $300,000 which will bring this long-awaited project to completion! (Please visit to donate).

A wonderful celebration is being planned for July 2022 on the outdoor grounds (the exact date is yet to be determined).

I am always encouraged by the heart of volunteers to step into uncharted empathy for our guests. Many of our volunteers have been “regulars” for years and are considered an aunt or uncle to our Mission. One of those faithful volunteer partners is Donna Naylor – here is her brief story:

“I am blessed every day that I volunteer at the Women’s Mission! I began volunteering at the Bethesda Women’s Mission about 20 years ago. It began with a work assignment to adopt a couple families for Christmas. I was so taken with the work done there that my friends from church began helping bring some meals in and even painting the lunch room and kitchen. After I retired 10 years ago, I needed to keep busy so my friend, Lola Ramsey and I volunteered to cook lunch 2 times a month. I added to that a couple years ago by volunteering at the reception desk 2 times a month.

It is a blessing to me to get to know the staff – their giftedness and passion to offer the love of Christ in tangible ways to the hurting women who enter these doors, seeking to find a life

different than the chaotic ones they have been living. To see the pain, anger and loneliness in their eyes in those challenging initial months, and then to watch how that seemingly hopeless life can experience recovery, real hope for a future worth living. Oh what a blessing God brings about!

In 2021, I was honored as Volunteer of the year!   This is the greatest honor of my life! I hope to keep volunteering not only on my 4 designated days but anytime I am needed.”

We long to see women and their children stop the cycle of abuse, despair, and years of homelessness, settling into stability and dependability on God’s protection and peace. Women that are ready to enter recovery from substance abuse will be able to let go…. and let God.

In Him,

Scott Dunwoody

Executive Director

Comments are closed.