New Bethany offers hope and support to people who experience poverty, hunger, and homelessness. We believe that all people, regardless of circumstances, should be treated with dignity and care without judgment. No one who seeks help is turned away.
We continually strive to build a community of hope and support for those who seek help and for those who desire to make a difference in the Lehigh Valley. We address immediate needs such as food and basic hygiene, provide short-term housing solutions, and encourage long-term change that will lift individuals out of poverty through housing, case management, and employment assistance. We welcome dedicated staff, volunteers, and donors who recognize that they have an important role to play in building a community that can make a difference.
In light of disparities in opportunity and living standards seen in our community each day, New Bethany seeks equity by offering hope and support to individuals and families who experience poverty, hunger, and homelessness. Through care, dignity, opportunity, voluntarism, philanthropy, justice, and innovation, New Bethany contributes to a more diverse, equitable community, including the people we serve, our volunteers and Board, and our Staff. New Bethany is committed to treating each person, regardless of circumstances, without judgment. No one who seeks help is turned away.
New Bethany began in the early 1980s as an interfaith ministry to relieve poverty within Southside Bethlehem. Coinciding with a round of major layoffs at Bethlehem Steel, the early 1980s proved a difficult time for many South Bethlehem residents. In reaction to the increased local need, a group of representatives from many different faith communities came together to discuss what could be done. The group called themselves the “Program Committee.”
The Committee coordinated inter-ministry relief efforts like soup kitchens, shelters, a thrift shop, and counseling. At the beginning of 1985, the Committee agreed that it was time to turn their efforts into a separate and permanent non-profit entity. With the help of the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem and support from the City of Bethlehem, New Bethany was founded in March of 1985. The first New Bethany program, the Transitional Housing Program, began in December of that year. Additional programming would follow in 1986 and years after.
The organization’s first Executive Director, Reverend David H. DeRemer, is pictured at left in 1985, and thirty years later at New Bethany.
During New Bethany’s 30+ years of operation, the organization has impacted over 100,000 individuals throughout the Lehigh Valley.
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