Bethany House Services starting fundraiser to continue helping families

Bethany House Services starting fundraiser to continue helping families
Bethany House needs help with a fundraiser after placing families in hotels during COVID-19. (Source: Morgan Parrish)

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - A Cincinnati non-profit providing services for the homeless needs help as they continue working through the pandemic.

Bethany House, which serves homeless kids and families, has been taking in more and more people during the pandemic.

The problem is it has become costly trying to stay afloat.

“It’s actually pretty nice," said Mariah Haynes. “You’ve got somewhere nice to come to when you don’t got nowhere else to go at all.”

In early March when COVID-19 hit, staff members knew they were going to have to do something to keep everyone safe.

“On any given day there might be 35-40 moms and children running," explained CEO of Bethany House Services Susan Schiller. “The kids are running around, and we were worried about infection and for our parents and kids, but also being the cause of community spread.”

That is when they decided to venture out to hotels, which hasn’t been cheap.

“We did not have hotel rooms budgeted for 2020 and like everybody else we’re facing increased costs whether it’s hotel rooms delivering food to the family in the hotel rooms all the hand sanitizers, the cleaning products,” said Schiller.

“Oh, they give us a dinner every night. On Sunday they give you a Crock-Pot and a roast to cook every Sunday, and if they don’t do that, they’ll order you a pizza or something,” said Haynes.

It’s why their upcoming fundraiser is more important than ever.

The three-day virtual fundraiser kicks off next week with a trivia night and continues with craft beer and wine experts.

Organizers and tenants both say any support from the community would be greatly appreciated.

“Oh, it helps out a lot. Anything counts because this is costing them a lot of money, but it’s helping so many families from being on the streets with their kids,” said Haynes.

Haynes is staying with her mom, stepdad, and 17-month-old son. She said if Bethany House couldn’t provide them this room, she doesn’t know where they would be.

“That’s the biggest thing. If it was just me, it’d be a different story, but when you have kids it’s very stressful. Like I didn’t think I was going to have anywhere to go,” said Haynes.

The fundraiser kicks off next Wednesday on the Bethany House Services website and they are still accepting registrations until Friday.

The goal is to raise $75,000.

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