Women’s Mission Renewal Project

It’s time for Renewal!

“I came to the Women’s Mission broken, after several overdoses and mental health challenges. My time here has helped me learn how to love myself, love others, and love God. I was hopeless, and being here gave me hope. They provided stability for me and encouraged me to better my life.” — Lonny

Every month we see new women seeking help at our shelter, but we also have an ongoing waiting list. Almost all of the women have been victims of abuse, but with the help of our staff, they leave with a new relationship with God and a promising future.

We expanded our Women’s Shelter from the previous capacity of 25 to accommodate 50+ women and children. We replaced our old, worn buildings with a new 18,400 square feet building.

August 18, 2022 Update: We Did It!

Our Women’s Shelter Grand Opening Celebration was attended by well over 100 people and included speeches by Shelley Brooks (Director of Women’s Ministry), Scott Dunwoody (Executive Director), and the Honorable Wanda R.D. Williams (Mayor of Harrisburg).

Thank you to everyone who donated towards this cause, especially our many Pillars. We would not have been able to create this new shelter without your generosity. We would also like to thank architect David Maule, Pyramid Construction, K&W Engineers, Pitbull Solutions, and Darvin Martin for their work on the building itself.

You can learn more about the opening of the shelter here: Bethesda Mission opens new women’s shelter | fox43.com

May 2022 Update: We Are Nearly There!

The total amount raised is now $4.4 million! The Annex building has been demolished and construction is nearly complete. 

We want to say THANK YOU to you, our donors, for all of your amazing generosity! The total amount raised is $4,444,831.

We are still accepting monetary donations for other FFE (furniture, fixtures and equipment) in addition to a sunroom, supply chain disruptions increasing certain building costs.

The Vision

Out of two old school buildings, 37 years ago in 1983, Bethesda Mission opened a Women’s Shelter located a mile directly east of the State Capitol Complex in the City of Harrisburg. Its vison began, and continues, to offer women in crisis help, hope, and healing through Jesus Christ in a safe, trustworthy, and loving environment.

That vision will expand with a renewal of this site, continuing to offer long term recovery and transitional living, but also adding some emergency shelter beds and a safe haven for 18-24 year-old women whose lives are not derailed by addiction or unwanted pregnancy, but have nowhere else to go.

In our July 2017 Newsletter, the inspirational story titled God, the Girl, and the Old Building is told by Shelley Brooks,

God, the Girl, and the Old Building

“As we prepare for the new building, I thought I’d share my connection with this 100-plus-year-old building that God has used to love, heal, save, and provide refuge for thousands of women and children since May 6, 1983.”

Director of the Women’s Mission. Recounting being led by God to serve hurting women for 35 years, these very old buildings have provided shelter for refuge, reconciliation, restoration, and HOPE for a lot of women, including Shelley.

Wait upon the Lord, with faith, patience, trust, and perseverance and He will bring what is for YOU, to YOU! For Shelley, it was to witness Jesus’ love in big old buildings that have served their community well.

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13)

The Renewal/The Expansion

  • God and the Girl will remain, but the 120- year-old former school buildings have got to go, demolished! (infeasible to renovate)
  • For 37 years we’ve been rescuing and restoring women’s lives in the community of Harrisburg; reaching 25+ women, some with younger kids, annually
  • Searched for 5 years to find larger site to renovate or build new, but zoning restrictions and purchase price were prohibitive, so in December, 2017 we decided to “stay home” on existing site
  • This half acre site will be totally renewed with a brand new 18,400 sf 4 story shelter, housing 51 beds, up from our existing capacity of 25 beds
  • Outdoor space will include vegetable and flower gardens, prayer and meditation areas, play areas for children, grass and trees, security fencing and landscaped buffer, off street parking

Our staff have done wonderful job with functionally deficient facility, ministering so effectively for many years…


It’s high time for renewal!


Project Cost                                                  

Demolish Existing Buildings                                                    $64,240

Excavation, Site Work, Environmental Remediation,
Landscaping, Outdoor Amenities                                               $   414,400

Construct New Shelter                                                                  $33,488,787

Architect/Engineer/FHLB Fees                                                  $   275,000

                                               Total Cost                                  $4,142,427

Funds Raised

Estate Gift                                                                                 $   875,000

Foundations, Business, Churches, Individuals                  $1,800,902

FHLB (Bank Grant Funding Program)                                $1,500,000

Total Raised                                $4,175,902

our goal

Please contact Cindy Mallow, Director of Development, with any questions: 717-257-4442 x233 or cmallow@bethesdamission.org.

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing, and perfect will.” Romans 12:1, 2 (NIV)