MAYOR PAPENFUSE WILL TOUR BETHESDA MISSION ON THURSDAY TO SEEK SOLUTIONS TO HOMELESSNESS IN HARRISBURG

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For Immediate Release
Contact: Joyce M. Davis
717 255 3015
717 712 4238

April 9, 2014

HARRISBURG – Mayor Eric Papenfuse will tour the Bethesda Mission, 611 Reily St.,  at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, April 10, to help focus on the plight of homeless people in Harrisburg and seek ways to better address the problem.

“I want to speak first-hand to people who are engaged in working with homeless people to see how the city might better respond to this pressing problem in our community,” Mayor Papenfuse said. “I thank Bethesda Mission for inviting me to visit and to help lead a discussion on solutions that will require engagement from a wide range of political, civic and faith leaders.”

The Mayor will meet with Bethesda Mission Executive Director Chuck Wingate and learn about facilities to support homeless men and women.

“There are over nine hundred homeless people in our community” Wingate said, “and that number is growing.”

Bethesda Mission’s Men’s Shelter has been accommodating record numbers for the past several weeks when the weather has been particularly difficult, Wingate said.

The mission operates a Women’s Shelter, a medical clinic, a dental clinic, a Youth Center and two transitional living facilities. It also sponsors a religious ministry for street people two nights per week in Harrisburg.

“Sixty percent of our guests have lived, worked or gone to school in Harrisburg,” Wingate said.

Bethesda Mission serves thousands of meals each week and accommodates more than one hundred men, women, and children each day.  Its programs are designed to help persons overcome addictions and lead more productive lives.  The Mission is funded by 14,000 donors in Central Pennsylvania, none of which comes from government agencies, Wingate said.

“We are an example of what a community can do, and we have been doing it since 1914,” he said.

For more information, contact Communications Director Joyce M. Davis at jdavis@cityofhbg.com; or call 717 255 3015.

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