History of Brethren Housing Association
Brethren Housing Association was founded in 1989 by two Church of the Brethren congregations that wanted to answer God's call to help the poor, particularly the homeless. They knew they couldnít do it on their own, so these two congregations, Harrisburg First Church of the Brethren and Hanoverdale Church of the Brethren (near Hershey, Pa.), partnered together. The vision started with two properties, providing short-term bridge housing to homeless families. Counseling was initially provided to families by local pastors, and BHA was entirely volunteer run.
Within a couple years, several more congregations got involved, and these eight partner congregations (official "members" in the association) were the basis of the ministry. A few more properties were either donated or purchased.
By the mid-1990ís, the Board saw the need for more professional, in depth case management support for families, and entered into a partnership with Delta Housing, Inc. (now Delta Community) to provide the case management services. For approximately five years BHA and Delta partnered together to provide transitional housing services to 16 families in BHA's apartments. In 2001, this partnership was dissolved and BHA hired its own program staff to work with the families.
As of 2010, BHA operates three programs:
- Transitions: A transitional housing program for homeless women and children
- Fast Track: A four month rapid rehousing program for homeless families
- Next Steps: A permanent housing program providing case management support, and in some case rental assistance, to formerly homeless families living in the community, many graduates of the Transitions or Fast Track programs.
Today, BHA owns seven properties, with sixteen apartments. Fourteen apartments are in use, with the remaining two being rehabilitated for future use. Twelve apartments are being used for our Transitions program with the other two allotted for our Fast Track program.
Our staff has grown to a full-time Executive Director, two direct service Program Coordinators and a part-time Childcare Coordinator, a Director of Development, a Property Manager, and a part-time Administrative Assistant.
Today BHA has eleven member churches, and many other supporting congregations, businesses, individuals and grant making organizations. In recent years we have broadened our based of support beyond the Church of the Brethren, but still enjoy strong relations there. BHA is governed by an independent Board of Directors.
The official registration and financial information of Brethren Housing Association
may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll free, within
Pennsylvania, 1.800.732.0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.
Revised: 5/8/2010 5:05:55 PM