Bethlehem Press

Friday, December 6, 2019
From left, former New Bethany executive director Diane Elliott, Marc Rittle, New Bethany executive director, and Pamela Lewis, New Bethany partnership manager, formally open the Diane Elliott Center in South Bethlehem. Copyright - Copyright 2009 From left, former New Bethany executive director Diane Elliott, Marc Rittle, New Bethany executive director, and Pamela Lewis, New Bethany partnership manager, formally open the Diane Elliott Center in South Bethlehem. Copyright - Copyright 2009
The refurbished Elliott Center includes computers with internet access that can be used for job searches and resume building. Copyright - Copyright 2009 The refurbished Elliott Center includes computers with internet access that can be used for job searches and resume building. Copyright - Copyright 2009
cut Elliott center 3 - An external view of the recently refurbished Diane Elliott Center in Southside Bethlehem. Copyright - Copyright 2009 cut Elliott center 3 - An external view of the recently refurbished Diane Elliott Center in Southside Bethlehem. Copyright - Copyright 2009
Pamela Lewis, community partnership manager at New Bethany Ministries, discusses the mission of the refurbished Diane Elliott Center. Copyright - Copyright 2009 Pamela Lewis, community partnership manager at New Bethany Ministries, discusses the mission of the refurbished Diane Elliott Center. Copyright - Copyright 2009
Diane Elliott, former executive director of New Bethany Ministries, discusses the impetus behind the formation of the Diane Elliott Center. Copyright - Copyright 2009 Diane Elliott, former executive director of New Bethany Ministries, discusses the impetus behind the formation of the Diane Elliott Center. Copyright - Copyright 2009
Marc Rittle, executive director of the New Bethany Ministries, discusses the strategy behind the refurbished room that has become the Diane Elliott Center. Copyright - Copyright 2009 Marc Rittle, executive director of the New Bethany Ministries, discusses the strategy behind the refurbished room that has become the Diane Elliott Center. Copyright - Copyright 2009
PRESS PHOTOS BY STEPHEN ALTHOUSEA view of the refurbished Diane Elliott Center during a ribbon-cutting ceremony held May 22 in South Bethlehem. Copyright - Copyright 2009 PRESS PHOTOS BY STEPHEN ALTHOUSEA view of the refurbished Diane Elliott Center during a ribbon-cutting ceremony held May 22 in South Bethlehem. Copyright - Copyright 2009

New Bethany Ministries’ Diane Elliott Center

Friday, June 7, 2019 by STEPHEN ALTHOUSE Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

Turning hopes into reality

Strive, thrive and revive. Three words that occupy more than a slogan on a bumper sticker for New Bethany Ministries.

The concept fueled the Diane Elliott Center for Community Partnerships room, launched late last year. On May 22 a ribbon-cutting ceremony formally opened the room, which was completely remodeled and located in the organization’s old food pantry in the Mollard Hospitality Center at the corner of Fourth and Wynadotte streets.

The nonprofit provides food and hygiene support, wellness programing, transitional and permanent housing along with financial case management services to individuals and families working toward self-sufficiency.

“What we’ve been missing is the glue to connect all of these services together,” said Marc Rittle, New Bethany’s executive director, during the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “Now we have a way.”

The refurbished room was designed by Elliott, the organization’s previous executive director, and Pamela Lewis, New Bethany’s partnership manager.

“This room is part of our mission to combat homelessness in the Lehigh Valley,” Rittle said.

The space contains two computers with Internet access that can be used by anyone for job searches and resume-building, he noted.

“This is a multi-purpose room to house life skills, training courses and case management services, which we have been doing and will continue to do,” Rittle said. “We also offer rental assistance to help keep people where they are at.”

Rittle maintains the room is more than just a space – it’s a space to turn hopes into reality.

“If you have a personal goal – you need to get a job, get a house, get a hot shower whatever your goal is – we’re here to help,” he said.

In Bethlehem, the core service area of New Bethany Ministries, nearly 20 percent of the population lives below the federal poverty level, according to the United States Census Bureau 2010-2014. Another 40 percent live in what is considered “substandard housing” and 4.5 percent of Bethlehem residents are uninsured.

New Bethany estimates that about 250 adults, ages 18 to 65, will be served during the Elliott Center’s inaugural year, including one-time and on-going services.

The Elliott Center will track employment and housing metrics, while life skills objectives will be tracked by community partners and then shared with New Bethany.