Bethesda Serenity is a new, permanent housing site for chronically homeless women located in South Philadelphia.


Philadelphia, PA, 05/30/2017 – Bethesda Project, a Philadelphia nonprofit providing services for homeless individuals since 1979, announced the opening of its 14th location, Bethesda Serenity, a permanent supportive housing site located in South Philadelphia and operated in partnership with the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Homeless Services (OHS). Bethesda Serenity provides permanent housing to women experiencing chronic homelessness. The residents were housed after a successful season at Bethesda Project’s women’s winter respite, The Well, which was run this past winter season in conjunction with The Welcome Church and Trinity Memorial Church.

This innovative housing model provides Housing-First service delivery with an opportunity to maintain the vital community and relationships already established in the lives of the women.

“Over the past summer, some providers and OHS staff were offered the opportunity to brainstorm new ways to house our most vulnerable citizens through the 100 Day Challenge,” recalls Misty Sparks, Director of Entry-Level Programs at Bethesda Project. “One idea that emerged was master leasing a house and offering each unit to those most resistant to traditional housing options.”

Bethesda Project was uniquely positioned to create this innovative new model due to its existing relationships with those most resistant to housing and its long history of being family with those who have none.

“The City of Philadelphia, Office of Homeless Services is honored to be able to support Bethesda Serenity. It is an innovative way of helping women, who have been homeless for many years, gain the dignity, safety and security of a home,” remarks Liz Hersh, Director of Philadelphia’s OHS. “We commend Bethesda Project for their fine work and look forward to our continued partnership to address chronic homelessness in Philadelphia.”

Bethesda Serenity currently serves three women who had previously been experiencing homelessness for over a decade. There are plans to renovate the lower-level of the South Philly home to include one additional unit in the near future. For more information on Bethesda Serenity or to arrange an interview, please contact Emmalee Eckstein at or (610) 730-8290.


About Bethesda Project
Bethesda Project provides emergency shelter, housing and supportive services for thousands of homeless individuals in Philadelphia. By providing a home and safe environments in each of its 14 sites throughout Philadelphia, homeless men and women can stabilize and regain their dignity and self-worth. From street outreach and shelters to permanent housing residences with supportive services, its locations create a “continuum of care” for Philadelphia’s chronically homeless. Bethesda Project meets men and women where they are, providing case management to help them achieve their highest personal potential. Now, 38 years since its beginning, Bethesda Project remains committed to its initial calling — to find and care for the abandoned poor and to be family with those who have none.  or find us on Twitter @Bethesda_Proj


About the City of Philadelphia, Office of Homeless Services (OHS)
The mission of the Office of Homeless Services is to provide the leadership, coordination, planning and mobilization of resources to make homelessness rare, brief and non-recurring for the City of Philadelphia. Homeless Services works collaboratively with more than 60 mostly nonprofit, homeless housing and service providers combined with city, state and federal governmental entities to comprise Philadelphia’s homeless service system or Continuum of Care (CoC).  This system provides emergency housing and services to people who are both experiencing homelessness and at imminent risk of homelessness.  It includes homelessness prevention and diversion, emergency, transitional and rapid re-housing, permanent supportive housing, case management, supportive services, emergency response, service days (clean-up of encampments), food and commodity distribution to contracted emergency housing facilities and soup kitchens and operation of the Riverview, a personal care home.