Bethany House Connection: January 2024

A Message from our Executive Director
I want to take a moment to thank everyone who has welcomed me with open arms to Bethany House as the new Executive Director. I am extremely excited for this to be my next chapter in helping to fight the homeless crisis in Nassau County. I’d like to take this opportunity to update you about the important work we have been able to accomplish recently.

Bethany House strives to be a leader in the solution for homelessness in Nassau County. We work hard to be a community of support, in various ways, for those who come to us for help. One of those ways is a transitional services and housing program,  Safe Ground for Families, which opened its doors in April 2023,  and continues to be an invaluable resource for our community. The program was created to address the obstacles of long-term sustainability, so that women and children can stay out of the shelter system permanently. Since April, two more guests with their children have joined the program and moved into our transitional home. All of our guests in this program are making strides towards self-sufficiency, with the support of our case management team, by obtaining additional education, employment coaching, achieving financial planning goals, and much more.   

Bethany House also recently partnered with Community Development Long Island, Inc. to provide housing for three families which had been awarded Section-8 vouchers.  We were able to provide furnished apartments, as well as a supportive Case Manager, to help guide them through their transition to stable housing. I am very proud to share this information with you about our transitional housing program, which is so needed, especially in a county with such high rents.  We have the honor of providing women and their children a safe, clean, supportive environment, for a very low monthly rent.  

Bethany House continues to work diligently to address additional areas of needed support for our guests, in an effort to help them break the cycle of homelessness. These include financial competence and mental health support for our guests, as well as staff development.  I am excited to share that we will continue to explore meaningful programs that will allow us to better serve those who turn to use in their time of need.  
Katie Swanson, Executive Director
You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, we’ll tell you why… 

Because…. SANTA Claus came to town, well to Bethany House to be more precise!!!! Santa, Ms. Claus and their brood of elves arrived to take part in our annual Bethany House Trim-the-Tree Party on December 20th. 

The night was full of festivities with great food cooked and purchased by staff and guests, karaoke and a surprise visit from Santa! 

Of course we couldn’t hear his reindeer’s hooves on our rooftop because everyone was singing loudly and having a wonderful time!

Santa and team passed out gifts to each mom, and every child, before he had to get back to the North Pole to prepare for next year.  When he left, he took Stanley, the Bethany House elf on the shelf, with him! Stanley did not want to leave our warm, inviting house, so he was hiding in the tree top! 

Away they all went with a HO-HO-HO UNTIL NEXT YEAR! 
Holiday Extravaganza!

Buckley Country Day School held an epic holiday party for our guests in December.  

The school staff, parents, and students went above and beyond to make sure that everyone had a great time. The chef made a delicious lunch of corn on the cob, the best mashed potatoes you’ve ever tasted, macaroni and cheese, green beans with mushrooms and onions, delicious turkey slices, fresh salad, and bread. Next the dessert spread was incredible – cookies, cakes, pies, and cupcakes galore!

Guests took pictures in front of the Christmas tree, then he pictures were printed out, and the guests decorated frames for them. There was a gingerbread making station, where each person got a kit with a house and all the items needed to decorate, including the icing and candy.

The children got to run around the gym, play, and color. The students were SO good with the children and the moms. It was heartwarming to watch.  There were gifts for every Mom and every child.  All who attended left with their tummies, hearts and arms full of holiday love and spirit.   


Each year, Bethany House is fortunate to partner with wonderful supporters in our community to “adopt” our families for Christmas. This year, over 20 “adopters” were given a wish list of gifts, written by the women and children in our emergency shelters. Once they shopped for the gifts, they wrapped the mother’s gifts, left the children’s gifts unwrapped, and dropped them off at one of houses. Then, many of the mothers got to “shop” for their children’s gifts in our make-shift “store,” where we laid out children’s toys and clothes for them to peruse. The women then got to wrap the gifts for their children, as if they shopped and bought them on their own. It was a joyous occasion for all involved. 

The women and children at Bethany House are so appreciative of the generous gifts donated through our Adopt-A-Family Program. We thank all of those who participated for remembering them during what can be a most difficult time of year. The beautiful gifts were given to our women and children on Christmas Day, and brought so much joy to each of them. 

At Bethany House, we work to support homeless women, and women with children, through transition to stability. We simply could not do all of this wonderful work without our generous and caring supporters. 

And so, we thank all of those who helped make the 2023 Adopt A Family Program such an incredible success! Bethany House would like to thank each and every one of the following for “adopting” one or more of our guests (if your name was omitted, please know it’s just human error!): 

Jon and Dana Acquafredda
Jeanine Badalamenti
Leticia Bonomo
Kelsey Bottari
Maryann Brolley
Olivia Cino
Kristin Cox and Girl Scout Troop 2238 from Oceanside
Leah Didriksen
Kerry Figueiredo and the South Side High School Bethany Buddies Club
Ellen Foley
Tawanda Harris
Michelle Heller
Rachel Hollywood, Esq.
Valerie Iovino
Lauren Jukofsky and Girl Scout Troop 2164 from Oceanside
Cory Knopf
Rich Kuenstler
Kathleen Lovece
Catherine Modzelewski and the Valley Stream School STOP Club
Jennifer Pintiliano-Gemmo and Girl Scout Troop 2083 from Oceanside
Vicki Rhodes
Sheila Pio
Kristi Schaefer and Girl Scout Troop 2552 from Oceanside
Leeanna Simo
Helen Sofocli
Kevin and Melissa Stender 

Annual Appeal Success: Thank You!

Thank you to the many of you who gave generous donations to the Bethany House Annual Appeal, every dollar of which helps support the vital programs we offer to our guests. Because of your generosity, combined with that of other caring people like you, we continue to be able to uplift women, many with children, and guide them from homelessness toward independence and self-sufficiency. 

As mentioned in the annual appeal, government funding enables us to “keep the lights on” at our three emergency shelters. Your generosity gives us the ability to provide our guests with the comprehensive support they need to gain financial stability and secure permanent housing for themselves and their children. With your help, we are working diligently to break the cycle of homelessness.  

Thank you again for your generosity.  If you would like to learn more about the wonderful work we do, please give us a call at 516-868-6866 to set up a meeting or a tour of Bethany House.