RIBBON CUTTING CEREMONY. Front row, from left, are Sheryl Long (City Manager), Peg Dierkers (CEO of BHS), Rep. Bill Seitz, Pamela Weber (PNC Bank), Barbara Hauser (P&G), Bernie McKay (Haile Foundation), Mayor Aftab Pureval, Susan Schiller (Former CEO of BHS), Carolyn Washburn (BHS Board Chair), Pam Webb (BHS Board Member), Joaslyn Tolbert (Former BHS Client), B.H. Wells. Second Row: Bethany House Services Board of Directors. Photos Provided


After a successful campaign which raised more than $20 million, Bethany House Services celebrated the completion of construction on its new family homeless shelter and comprehensive services center with a ribbon cutting on Sept. 29. Previously, services were scattered across seven locations, and the new facility at 4769 Reading Road centralizes all programs into one site.

Now, families experiencing homelessness will have access to a wide spectrum of services in one location, including a family homeless shelter with 43 individual rooms, medical and mental health care, and assistance with long-term housing stability.

Lobby Lobby area of Bethany House

“Our vision to consolidate into one location began in 2015, and thanks to more than 200 generous donors, today it became a reality,” says Peg Dierkers, CEO of Bethany House.

Contributions included nearly $12 million from private donations, over $5 million in public funding, and $2.8 million in New Markets Tax Credit financing. Donors of $1 million or more include the City of Cincinnati, Day 1 Families Fund, Farmer Family Foundation, Carol Ann & Ralph V. Haile, Jr. Foundation, Heidt Family Foundation, and an anonymous donor.

Mayor Mayor Aftab Pureval addresses the audience at the Bethany House opening ceremony.

The new facility, which incorporates numerous elements of trauma-informed design, is especially built for children and families and includes the following:

      •     Private family bedrooms

      •     On-site medical and mental health care for children and adults

      •     Employment services

      •     Counseling and educational programs

      •     Classrooms for life skills and job readiness programs

      •     Interactive, age-based indoor enrichment areas and outdoor children’s play spaces

      •     Access to a full range of support services for every family served.

With recent news that rent in Cincinnati is up 25.8% from last year—the largest increase among the top 50 U.S. metro areas—BHS’s expansion is critical to serve the growing number of families in need of housing stability.

The project architect was SHP, and the construction companies were TriVersity and Jostin, both minority owned companies.

BHS co-founder, Dee Sizler, SC, and BHS CEO Peg Dierkers

“Many partners, collaborators, and donors made today possible, and most importantly, families experiencing homelessness in our community now have a beautiful, safe, and comfortable place to live while working towards long-term housing stability,” says Carolyn Washburn, Chair of Bethany House Board of Directors.

Founded in 1983, BHS supports families as they move from homelessness to housing and independence and self-sufficiency, ensuring each family has the necessary skills and supports so that they will not return to homelessness. In 2021, BHS served 2,504 individuals from 676 families across its shelter, housing, and prevention programs. Learn more at www.bethanyhouseservices.org.

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