From our house to yours: March 2023

A common theme in my reflecting on the happenings here is how Bethany House, on a daily basis, experiences neighbors helping neighbors.  Blue Waters Boutique has been providing birthday gifts, clothing, Chrome Books and dinner donations to  our guests for many years now on a regular basis.  Not only is their support monumental to our guests, but so is their passion.  This month, I’d like to share a message about the passion behind our neighbor Blue Waters’ involvement with Bethany House.   

“Bethany House is more than just a women’s shelter; it’s a bridge for women to crossover to find peace, success and a bright future on the other side. This “bridge” is perpetually being built by the selfless team at Bethany House. This team have given their lives to make sure these unfortunate women of society rebuild their lives. 

Before I was a successful business owner, I was a single mom of three children. I was not in any danger, but felt the turmoil of struggling financially, working three jobs and trying to raise children on my own. That experience gave me a heart and passion for women trying to get through life with what has been served to them. Once I became successful within my own business, I knew I had to find an avenue to support women that are in need. I came across Bethany House since they are in my community and asked to meet with them.  

From that first meeting until now, I am always amazed at the love, compassion and pure benevolence of the team working at Bethany House. They are completely committed to guiding these women and children to rebuild their lives. Every time I visit there, I leave with a heart full of life and admiration for a staff so dedicated to the cause at hand; it is perfectly overwhelming. 

Bethany House truly exists to strengthen and assist women and children who are deprived of basic resources. The beautiful home atmosphere they have created where basic living needs are met is to be commended. Bethany House is devoted to working tirelessly to assure and protect the self-worth and self-respect of every individual that enters their program. And for these reasons will I continue to contribute to the success of this venture within my community. I stand behind Bethany House whole heartedly and know they have and will change many lives. “Helping one person might not change the whole world, but it might change the world for one person”.  

~Shannon Drinkwater, Owner, Blue Waters Boutique
Thank you to Blue Waters Boutique and our generous supporters!

From our home to yours: December 2022

Here at Bethany House, we often say, “The average person spends 365 hours a month at home. Imagine… what it’s like not to have one.” During the holiday season, many people gather with family and friends in their homes and, for a moment, everything feels right in the world. Imagine having no home to go to, or no home to call your own. It is always a trying situation being homeless, but during the holiday season, it is especially difficult. At Bethany House, we are determined to make this a season of love, joy and hope for women, and women with children, who are struggling through the challenges of homelessness.

Over the past several weeks, the people of Nassau County have turned out in force to assure the women, and women with children, at Bethany House that they are loved.  Our Bethany House extended family of faith-based organizations, community groups and warm-hearted families and individuals have given their time, talents and treasure to assure our Bethany House guests that there is hope for their future.

If you have already donated in response to our annual appeal to support the individuals and families we serve, we thank you for your compassion and generosity.  If you have not yet been able to do so, we ask for you to consider donating in support of the work we are doing together to move individuals and families experiencing homelessness through transition to stability. You can donate here, and know that your monetary gift is providing hope for a promising future to our guests and their children.

Thank you for all that you do for our guests struggling through the many challenges associated with homelessness.

We wish you, your families and friends a holiday season filled with joy.







From our home to yours: August 2022

The Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer at Bethany House

When Nat King Cole reflected on those lazy and hazy days of summer, he couldn’t have imagined all the amazing things happening at Bethany House. That said, Mr. Cole sure got the “crazy” part right. This summer of 2022 has been crazy for Bethany House – crazy good!

Bethany House received official word from the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) that our Bethany Too program had been certified on July 22, 2022, to serve 11 single women. We then received word from OTDA on August 10, 2022, that our Bethany One and Bethany South programs had been among the first programs in Nassau County to be certified to serve 12 and 10 families, respectively. Certification by the NYS OTDA confirms that women, and women with children, who turn to Bethany House when challenged by homelessness, will receive the highest quality of service in the finest facilities. The journey to certification is arduous. Policies need to be enhanced, facilities must be upgraded and staff need to be retrained to meet the high standards required for certification. The preparation for certification involved extensive support and guidance from our colleagues at the NYS Office of Temporary Disability Assistance and the Nassau County Department of Social Services. As importantly, Bethany House certification was brought to reality through the vision of the Bethany House Board of Directors- past and present- with the support of board and volunteer committee members, and the hard work of a dedicated group of extremely talented Bethany House leadership staff.

The summer of 2022 has also been a time for us to formally bid farewell to the many college students who interned with Bethany House over the past year. We said farewell and offered our appreciation to the many students from Nassau Community College, Molloy University, Fordham University and the New York Theological Seminary. With the guidance of our leadership staff, these amazing students brought much needed health, counseling and empowerment services into our programs that led to physical, emotional and spiritual healing for our guests and their children. During these last, hazy days of summer, we have prepared for the upcoming year and welcomed our next group of interns from Adelphi, Fordham, Molloy and Bellevue University.

The many faith-based, business and corporate organizations that support the women and children at Bethany House took no time off this summer. The amazing members of these organizations continued to donate much needed food, clothing, household supplies, school supplies and even Chromebook computers for our guests. The members of these same organizations arranged numerous opportunities for our guests to enjoy recreational and entertainment activities with our neighbors in Nassau County.

Finally, I would be remiss not to mention that the dedicated volunteers, who support the work of Bethany House, all continued to work straight through the summer supporting our guests and planning fundraising and direct service activities for the next year. These fundraisers and activities ensure the best quality of service for the women and children who turn to Bethany house in their time of need.

Obviously, the summer of 2022 has been anything but lazy or hazy. And it certainly has been crazy good!

The Bethany House Board of Directors and leadership staff leave the summer of 2022 with grateful hearts. We look forward to the coming academic year with hope, determination and anticipation of all the crazy good things to come.

Be well and thanks for all that you do.


Doug O’Dell
Executive Director

From our home to yours: June 2022

Bethany House Executive Director’s June 2022 Message

The Journey From Homelessness To Self-Actualization

Providing food, clothing and shelter to women and children experiencing homelessness is the foundation of the Bethany House mission. We have effectively provided emergency services and shelter to women, and women with children, for over 40 years. Meeting the basic needs of our Long Island neighbors in crisis is the most import service we provide. But it is not enough.

When the women we serve feel comfortable enough to share their life stories, we learn that many of them and their families have been cycling through bouts of homelessness repeatedly, and even from one generation to the next. At Bethany House, we are now fully focused on breaking this individual and inter-generational cycle.  We now provide services that empower women, support physical and emotional healing, and set our guests on a path to self-actualization. 

Many of the women who turn to Bethany House in their time of need have experienced devastating trauma that has led to family conflict, disruption and loss.  Some are at-risk of losing the custody of their children.  Others have already experienced the emotional tragedy and related trauma of having lost custody of their children. Still others have experienced intergenerational, partner and significant other conflict and, in some cases, violence. We are now providing in-house counseling and empowerment services made possible with the financial support of individuals, community and faith-based organizations, corporations and foundations.  These services have led to family healing, preservation, reunification and stabilization.  Once the women we serve feel that they and their children are safe, and experience a sense of belonging, they are ready to focus on self-improvement, education and financial stability. As they enter this phase of their healing journey, they need more support than Bethany House alone can provide.  This is where our service partners come into play.

Our service partners offer health and counseling services that empower the women we serve and provide them with hope.  Local colleges, universities and employment training programs set women on a path to job satisfaction and greater financial sufficiency.  Pro bono attorneys and financial advisors help our guests to resolve past entanglements. Our program volunteers and early childhood and local school partners provide the children of the women we serve with opportunities to experience the joy of learning and academic success. 

Finally, our extended family of staff, volunteers and partners supported through philanthropy have enabled Bethany House to provide aftercare services.  These aftercare services ensure that once on the path to stability the women and children served through Bethany House will never again have to endure the trauma of homelessness.

The expansion of the Bethany House mission has been made possible through the compassion and commitment of our board of directors, volunteers and staff, and with the generous support of our donors.  Together we are breaking the cycle of homelessness – two generations at a time.


Doug O’Dell 

Executive Director

From our home to yours: May 2022

Neighbors Taking Care of Neighbors 

These days, when we are subjected to so much distressing news, we wanted to share the GOOD news from Bethany House: people on Long Island care about each other, and hope and compassion are alive!

Bethany House is a place where people on Long Island come together to take care of their neighbors in need.  People from all sides of the political spectrum, faith-based organizations of every denomination and people from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds come together to support the women, and women with children at Bethany House, who are challenged by homelessness.

Every day, individuals from across Long Island offer financial support and much needed material goods to the women and children at Bethany House.  Many people directly support our guests through volunteering.  Corporate donors and foundations provide needed financial support that ensures the women and children successfully transition from homelessness to sustainable permanent living.  Students from Molloy University, Nassau County Community College, Fordham University and the New York Theological Seminary intern in our programs, providing support to our guests and their children. People from thirty-two diverse faith-based organizations provide ongoing support and encouragement directly to the women and children at Bethany House.

Our neighbors and friends have provided our guests and their children with holiday gifts, school supplies, catered meals, groceries and brand-new furniture and household supplies for departing guests who are setting up their new homes. Others have connected directly with our guests and their children by providing tutoring to adults and children, in-house arts and entertainment activities, reading groups and financial and personal care workshops. 

Most importantly, people on Long Island communicate through active involvement with Bethany House that they care about their neighbors in need. This compassion, expressed through action, assures the women and children we serve at Bethany House that they are loved. 

And so, we thank you Long Island, for all of your support and care. We could not provide for our guests the way that we do, without you.