The Diocese of Bethlehem’s partnership with New Bethany Ministries has recently expanded through the sharing of unused living and working spaces in Diocesan House.
New Bethany Ministries was founded in 1985 as an interfaith ministry to relieve poverty within Southside Bethlehem. With the support of the Diocese of Bethlehem and the City of Bethlehem, New Bethany Ministries launched their Transitional Housing Program at the end of 1985. New Bethany Ministries shares the same Bethlehem city block with the Diocesan Office and Cathedral Church of the Nativity. The Diocese of Bethlehem has enjoyed close relationship and frequent collaboration with New Bethany Ministries since their founding.
This collaboration expanded in October 2022 when the unused apartment space in Diocesan House became housing for two New Bethany Ministries volunteers. Beginning in February 2023, at least five New Bethany Ministries staff members will move into unused office spaces in Diocesan House.
New Bethany Ministries Executive Director Marc Rittle had this to say: “We have seen a significant increase in unhoused people and families locally since the start of the pandemic. Expanding our staff to support these increases means that we are quickly running out of space to sustain our work. We are fortunate to have enjoyed a long and active relationship with the Diocese of Bethlehem to allow us to consider sharing spaces for staff and volunteers.”
About this expanding partnership, Bishop Kevin remarked “I am excited by the opportunity for the Diocese of Bethlehem to live into the vision of the diocesan leaders at the founding of New Bethany Ministries. It seems natural and sacred to me that we can share diocesan resources in response to the significant expansion of New Bethany Ministries’ efforts.”