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