Making A Difference 365

Bethlehem House, Conway’s local transitional shelter for the homeless and nearly homeless, is seeking the support of the community for its new 365 program.

The 365 program will allow the Bethlehem House to raise $200,000 per year, which is necessary to keep the house open and operational. Additionally, the donations will go to provide the homeless and nearly homeless with showers, hot breakfasts and dinners, food boxes and case management.

Transitional Housing programs in the U.S. have seen a 74% decrease in funding from Housing of Urban Development (HUD) over the past several years. This steady decrease, due to HUD shifting its grant money to programs that focus on permanent housing, has encouraged the staff and board of Bethlehem House to develop a funding program that will help them operate without government assistance. “We believe that within the next few years HUD will no longer fund transitional housing programs. We believe in our program and see the benefits of transitional housing on a daily basis. The entire community benefits from having a successful program in Conway. Our program has a success rate of 72%. That means 72% of those who complete our program move into a stable home. They become productive, contributing community members.” said Judi Lively, director for Bethlehem House.

Last year alone, Bethlehem House provided 3,650 showers, served over 15,000 hot meals, handed out 402 boxes of food, offered 3912 case management hours to clients and provided a total 128 people with a safe place to sleep and or rebuild their lives.

“Our supporters and donors are the lifeline Bethlehem House. Without their love and financial support we couldn’t deliver our program and help the homeless in our community,” said Aimee Prince, director of development for Bethlehem House.

Bethlehem House is looking for 365 individuals, businesses or organizations to pledge a minimum of $50 per month as a reoccurring donation to the house.

“The community’s help is vital in order to continue Bethlehem House’s efforts of transforming lives in Conway. Together, we can change lives. Together, we can make a difference,” said Aimee Prince.

To become an active donor of the 365 program, visit the website at bethlehemhouse.net or contact Aimee Prince at 501.329.4862 or aimee@bethlehemhouse.net

Giving To Communities Through Coffee

Round Mountain Coffee has always loved giving back to those in need. Growing up, one of our founders, Scott Forbush, was always taught how blessed life is and that the life he lived was full of blessings. So it only makes sense that Round Mountain Coffee puts giving as a top priority. Non-profit organizations such as CoHO and Bethlehem House are just the start of what RMC wants to do to give back to our community.

Though the business has only been around for 6 months, Round Mountain has delivered an impact to Bethlehem House.  In February, RMC auctioned off the opportunity to name Round Mountain Coffee’s

summer blend.  The highest bidder won the right to name the coffee blend and the opportunity for sponsorship on the bag.

Luckily for us, Kangabloo, a design studio, won the highest bid for the coffee blend. Kangabloo wants to create the bag design and feel for the new coffee blend, and together we hope to give more back to our community and Bethlehem House through the coffee blend we have created.

RMC wants to give to our local communities through coffee. We are thankful for Bethlehem House and Kangabloo for giving us the opportunity to give back to our community!

 

Jack

The ministry of preparing and serving meals to the residents at Bethlehem House has been years in the making. In the year 2000 a unique man entered my life named Jack.  His real name was John Jude O’Reilly.  Jack’s mother named him after St. Jude the patron saint of hopeless/lost causes. Little did I know how the intercession of St. Jude would led me to service at Bethlehem House.  Jack and I married in 2011. Being a retired educator, he was always coming up with projects for us to do together.

One day when I came home from work, he shared with me his desire to start serving meals at a homeless shelter in Conway called Bethlehem House.  I was somewhat nervous about the whole thought of it.  It wasn’t that I was opposed to serving meals, I was just apprehensive about what to expect.  Jack reassured me that it was the perfect plan.   He understood what I did not, which was this, the face of Jesus is all around, especially in those who are homeless, sick and suffering.

In the beginning, we started out serving meals occasionally when time allowed.  This quickly changed to preparing/serving monthly meals.  Through the ministry at the Bethlehem House I quickly came to understand that cooking in Jack’s style meant preparation weeks in advance of smoking meat and preparing home-made dishes.  This was Jack’s idea of evangelization and throwing in a meal just for fun.  I went from being a fearful right-hand-gal to Jack, while serving at Bethlehem House, to knowing and loving the staff and residents. I developed long-lasting friendships with Godly people.

Jack died in 2015 after an unexpected illness. Through his self-less love and modeling, I continued the meal ministry at Bethlehem House.  Not only have I involved my family and friends, but have extended this opportunity to those in my church community at St. Joseph’s Church.  Each third Tuesday of the month, volunteers from St. Joseph’s prepare, serve, and enjoy the fellowship with the residents of Bethlehem House.  I have seen the face of Jesus through the work accomplished at the Bethlehem House.

 

 


Jack’s Mexican Stew

2 lb. boneless pork shoulder roast, chopped

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 cups chopped white onion

1 cup chopped carrot

1 Tbsp. ground cumin

2 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. ground red pepper

1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

5 garlic cloves coarsely chopped

3 (15.5) cans hominy, drained and rinsed (I use white hominy)

1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes (I use diced tomatoes)

4 cups unsalted chicken cooking stock, (I added one additional can)

2 dried ancho chilies

1/2 tsp. dried red pepper flakes

 

  1. Sauté pork in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 6 minutes. Place pork in a 7-qt slow cooker.  Stir in onions, next 8 ingredients, and 2 cups stock into slow cooker with pork.

Microwave remaining 2 cups stock in a microwave safe bowl on HIGH 3 minutes or until boiling.  Add dried chilies, and let stand 10 minutes.  Remove and discard tops of chilies.  Process broth and chilies in a blend until smooth. Stir chili mixture into pork mixtures.  Cover and cook on LOW 7 to 8 hours or until pork is very tender