Bethany House

A delicious meal five days a week. In addition to their children’s meal program is Luz De Esperanza Saturday education program where 25 children participate and receive breakfast and lunch. The last meal program the Bethany House provides are street corner meals. This program delivers over 170 meals to homeless people living on the streets in north Laredo.

In addition to its feed the hungry program, the Bethany House provides many services that include sheltering the homeless, educating children, and community events. The Bethany In 1982, Father Charles McNaboe established the Bethany House. In 1984, the Bethany House received its nonprofit position, soon after services began to rapidly grow. What originated as a simple soup kitchen to serve hot meals to seventeen homeless individuals grew into a deep-rooted kitchen operation that serves hundreds of individuals on-site and delivers meals throughout the Laredo Community. In 2002, the Bethany house gained a second property to open a shelter and a transition-housing complex. This initiated the setups of Guadalupe and Lilia Martinez Resource Center and Lamar Bruni Vergara Community Shelter. The Bethany House gained a permanent home, after a generous donation of property deeds was gifted by the family of Maria Bruni Leyendecker in 2009. With the support from Sharing Hope campaign in 2008, the grandest expansion of the Bethany House was made possible. In 2014, The Barbara A. Kazen Center for Hope was established. With this new addition, the Bethany House can serve over two-thousand people in need including Nora and her son Jude.

After Nora and the father of her son Jude ended their relationship, she had no support from her biological family. Nora became homeless and desperate for a place to live. She was referred to the Bethany House after receiving advice from a team at the Casa de Misericordia. Nora is a fighter and realized that with a little help, she can get back on her feet again. Nora took an advantage of the resources that were presented to her and visited a case manager regularly. The Bethany House provided her assistance with shelter, transportation, childcare, and became employed with a great job. She was now able to begin her new life. Nora is now back on her feet and improving her life while Jude is a joyful and thriving baby. She credits her success to the Bethany House where she received a lot of support and guidance from a caring and loving staff. Nora remains a strong and independent role model to her son.

With the assistance of United Way of Laredo, Bethany House is able to assist thousands of people throughout our Laredo community through their various meal programs. The Bethany House provides on-site meals that include breakfast, lunch, and dinner and is offered six days out of the week to any clients.  More than 1,250 meals are served daily. The Bethany House also offers homebound meals that are delivered every day to indigent, elderly and disabled citizens. An estimate of 500 meals are delivered daily, five days a week. The Kids’ Café is a meal program that the Bethany House provides for children after school. An average of 145 children receiveHouse provides emergency shelters to provide short-term housing and transitional housing units that allows stable environments for families. The Guadalupe and Lilia Martinez Resource Center provides basic living amenities such as access to showers, bathrooms, laundry, telephones, and fresh drinking water. People who are interested in reintegrating into the workforce can request assistance from a case manager provided by the Bethany House.

Through the work of Luz De Esperanza Learning Program, a volunteer teacher provides school work tutoring, arts and craft classes. In addition to this, the education program provides tours and demonstrations at art and musical festivals, exhibits, and campouts. The Bethany House also delivers an after-school tutoring program with the help of a Laredo ISD certified teacher. The program is done at the Resource Center, which provides a small library, computer, and quiet place to complete schoolwork.

In addition to all the resources the Bethany House provides, it coordinates and participates in community events. The Bethany House twice a year hosts a health fair for information and services. Approximately, twenty-five agencies participate and over three hundred clients attend. In coordination with the Laredo Homeless Coalition, the Bethany House participates in the March against Hunger and Homelessness. Lastly, the Bethany House provides Faith-Based Services. Mass celebrations are conducted every first Friday of each month, special events, and church holidays. All guests are welcomed to the faith-based services.


Posted in Human Interest Stories


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