Bethesda House strives to meet the needs of the people. One day guest, Troy, states, "They accept everyone here. They don't try to change you, they just help you. Here at Bethesda House, I feel like a normal man again. In other places I'm treated like a little kid, but not here". Again and again, he asserts that Bethesda House is an exemplary agency for those in need and at risk in the community. Troy believes that Bethesda House will always go "above and beyond."
Peter, a local resident, has been coming to Bethesda House for years. The Agency has been a great network for Peter, helping him get various components of his life back on track. From successful housing searches, to job fair information, to the clothing room and mail services Peter is certain that Bethesda has changed his life for the better. Amongst the services Peter accessed at Bethesda House, the staff has also helped him develop further communication, better people skills and the value of patience. But perhaps most importantly, Peter recognizes that Bethesda strives to address the needs of each individual in their diverse clientele, stating "everyone needs help in their own way.
Craig, a resident at Bethesda House, faced many obstacles growing up as his parents struggled to make ends meet. Craig finally met his biological mother his senior year of high school, only shortly before she passed away leaving a "hole in his heart". The depression caused by his mother's death lead Craig to drop out of school and begin a drug fueled lifestyle. Thankfully, he sought help through an outreach program which lead him to Bethesda House where he has been for 12 years. Craig explains, "Bethesda House gave me more than just a second chance, they saved my life and I'm on my way to having a life.
De had a typical happy childhood. After graduating high school she pursued her college degree in Schenectady. After graduation, De moved to New York City and married. After her marriage dissolved De moved back to Schenectady. Following her divorce, De faced her fourth job change and experienced a nervous breakdown. Without a job, she was homeless for three years before finally discovering Bethesda House. Almost immediately, De's outlook became more optimistic. "Bethesda House gave me affordable living and I am very thankful for that." De views Bethesda House as the stepping stones to a new life, claiming "Bethesda House has opened my eyes to the real world.
Johnny has been volunteering at Bethesda House for almost 15 years. All of the residents love seeing his smiling face. Growing up, Johnny was in-and-out of foster care. His goal was to stay gainfully employed but poor circumstances followed by some bad decisions resulting in his incarceration. After his release he came to Bethesda House in search of services and hope, but he found much more. He began volunteering and while rebuilding his life met his future wife. Eight years later there is still a sparkle in his eye when he talks the turn of his luck. Johnny describes Bethesda House as "my second home. Bethesda House has taught me so many life lessons, and I am grateful for every one of them.
As a volunteer at Bethesda House, I have been able to overcome a deep depression. Because I am doing something constructive and productive! In the past, I have received help from Bethesda House and as a result, I have been able to live more comfortable. Since I have received services from Bethesda House, I have decided to pay it forward. Because what they have done for me is highly appreciated. Some examples include: clothing, phone services, and meals. I find Bethesda House a great place to be for many reasons.
They help folks who want to be helped. I come here to see if I can get help because I need it. Since I have become disabled, I come as often as I can. Bethesda House has helped me get myself together. Bethesda House staff has taught me how to control my thoughts and temper. I'm learning how to calm myself. After I leave here, I go straight home. I had been homeless for a long time. I shot guns and smoked crack. I'm done with that. I can't be affiliated with anyone that does that. I'm not that person anymore. I've learned how to pay my own bills. I use my check the way I'm supposed to use. I learned from Bethesda House how to control myself and how to control my pockets.
When I'm in the community, I tell people about Bethesda House. A mother is two months pregnant, said she hadn't eaten for a few days. I told her that Bethesda House and other agencies in Schenectady offer daily meals. The staff gets the most credit here. They help us day to day and help people work thru issues.
I am thankful to be clean and sober. I'm thankful for food and Jesus. I'm thankful for the love of other people that share in my life. Bethesda House is very encouraging and always gives people a good meal. Bethesda House guides people in the right direction, even if staff can't help people; they still encourage them and show them love.
Frank, a 50 year old homeless Veteran, was referred to Bethesda House where he was provided emergency placement in coordination with the local DSS. Once off the streets and placed in emergency housing, Frank again met with his Case Manager from Bethesda House and was able to locate permanent housing. Frank's case manager was able to assist Frank with furniture, and household items for his new apartment. The case manager also helped Frank establish a budget plan for his utilities and personal needs so that he would not find himself homeless due to his fixed income. Frank stated that if it were not for Bethesda House he would not have gotten his life back.