HomeAid Orange County

Bethany House Opens - Now Helping More Women in Transition

March 11, 2015

HomeAid Orange County Partners with Mercy House and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange on 52nd Housing Development

Bethany House - Helping More Women in Transition Start Their Journey to a Better Life

Anaheim, CA - On Valentine's Day 1997 – the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange created the ministry known as Bethany with a desire to assist and walk with women from a shelter situation to independent living. On February 15th, 2015, eighteen years later, Bethany had something new to celebrate – the grand opening of its new home in Anaheim!

Nearly 60 neighbors, new, and long term supporters alike gathered for the official grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony of the new Bethany House shelter for homeless, single women in transition. The doors of the triplex were opened up to let attendees wander through the 12-bed facility, taking in the beautiful interior decorations provided by nonprofit agency, Furnishing Hope, Inc., and artwork created by members of the Sisters of St. Joseph and former graduates of the program. Made possible through generous community donations, housing partners and volunteers, the facility represents a community endeavor with different groups coming together in show of support for creating a dignified place of healing and compassion for those in need.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony featured opening remarks from HomeAid Orange County's Executive Director, Scott Larson, whose agency helped provide construction support to the new facility. Father Jerome Karcher, founder of Mercy House, gave the invocation as well as performed a blessing on the new home.Sister Eileen and Sister Louise Ann were both presented awards on behalf of Larry Haynes, Executive Director of Mercy House for their generosity and dedication to the program for so many years.

"The handing over of Bethany to Mercy House has been in the works for a long time, " said Sister Louise Ann Micek, founder of the Bethany program, " Each meeting, phone call, email and encounter throughout the years made it clear to me that this was the right thing to do. The grand opening celebration was a day full of joy and hope for a new future with Bethany House."

On Tuesday, February 17, two days after the Grand Opening, the program welcomed and moved in its first 12 residents who will start their journey toward healing and self-sufficiency. HomeAid is proud to have worked with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange and Mercy House on developing this home for Bethany House that serves women who are on their journey out of homelessness.

About Mercy House:

Santa Ana, Calif.-based Mercy House is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization that provides housing and comprehensive supportive services for some of the most vulnerable homeless populations including families, adult men and women, mothers and their children, persons living with HIV/AIDS, and veterans. Seeing the need in our community to serve the poor and the homeless, Mercy House was founded in 1990 by Father Jerome T. Karcher. Over the past 25 years Father Karcher, together with the leadership of Larry Haynes, Mercy House's first employee and only executive director, has not ceased to see the needs in the community.

What was once an agency helping 10 men with one transitional shelter, has grown to serve nearly 5,000 individuals in need last year, and has expanded to include four transitional housing facilities, emergency shelter and services, homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing, permanent supportive housing and service enriched permanent housing facilities for individuals and families with low income. In July 2013, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange partnered with Mercy House Living Center, donating its own assets, staff, and program to form Bethany House- a traditional women's shelter within the Mercy House structure.Visit www.mercyhouse.net.

About HomeAid:

HomeAid Orange County is the founding chapter of a national non-profit organization with the vision and purpose to end homelessness. Through its mission of building new lives for homeless families and individuals through housing and community outreach, HomeAid, develops housing, advocates and provides service in the community to the homeless.

Since 1989, HomeAid Orange County – founded by the Building Industry Association of Southern California's Orange County Chapter, has developed 52 shelters, adding nearly 1,100 shelter beds throughout Orange County. HomeAid acts as the housing developer and liaison between services providers, community volunteers, builders and specialty contractors. Tragically thousands are still in need of shelter each and every day. To help solve this social crisis, new housing developments are being planned and constructed throughout Orange County. For more information, please visit www.homeaidoc.org.

Special recognition to all those who made this development possible.