01 Jul Bethlehem House plans 365 program
Bethlehem House, Conway’s local transitional shelter for the homeless and nearly homeless, is seeking the support of the community for its new 365 program.
The 365 program will allow the Bethlehem House to raise $200,000 per year, which is necessary to keep the house open and operational. Additionally, the donations will go to provide the homeless and nearly homeless with showers, hot breakfasts and dinners, food boxes and case management.
Transitional Housing programs in the U.S. have seen a 74 percent decrease in funding from Housing of Urban Development (HUD) over the past several years. This steady decrease, due to HUD shifting its grant money to programs that focus on permanent housing, has encouraged the staff and board of Bethlehem House to develop a funding program that will help operate the program without government assistance.
“We believe that within the next few years, HUD will no longer fund transitional housing programs. We believe in our program and see the benefits of transitional housing on a daily basis. The entire community benefits from having a successful program in Conway. Our program has a success rate of 72 percent. That means 72 percent of those who complete our program move into a stable home. They become productive, contributing community members.” said Judi Lively, director for Bethlehem House.
Last year alone, Bethlehem House provided 3,650 showers, served more than 15,000 hot meals, handed out 402 boxes of food, offered 3,912 case management hours to clients and provided a total of 128 people with a safe place to sleep and or rebuild their lives.
“Our supporters and donors are the lifeline of Bethlehem House. Without their love and financial support, we couldn’t deliver our program and help the homeless in our community,” said Aimee Prince, director of development for Bethlehem House.
Bethlehem House is looking for 365 individuals, businesses or organizations to pledge a minimum of $50 per month as a reoccurring donation to the house.
“The community’s help is vital in order to continue Bethlehem House’s efforts of transforming lives in Conway. Together, we can change lives. Together, we can make a difference,” said Prince.
Bethlehem House is part of the City of Conway’s Homeless Taskforce and a partner organization of United Way of Central Arkansas.