A core value of Brethren Housing Association is that we desire to be good neighbors, and to work with other local agencies for the good of our participants and the community in general. By the very nature of our founding and organizational structure (congregations partnering together to form and maintain this ministry), the idea of partnership has always been important to us. Thus, our mission statement concludes by stating our ministries are designed to "foster collaboration with other community efforts."
Twelve local congregations are "members" of the Brethren Housing Association. Some of these churches partnered together to found BHA, and others have joined over the years. Members churches commit to supporting the ministry financially, with volunteer support, and with prayer. BHA isn't just a place these churches send a check every now and then, it is truly an outreach program of each of these congregations.
Jobs For Life
In 2012, BHA became a Jobs for Life partner site. Jobs for Life (JfL) provides turnkey toolkits containing all of the materials needed for churches and organizations to lead a JfL training class. Through this training, men and women develop character and become connected to a community of support to help them obtain far more than just a job. They experience life, a life filled with confidence, self-control, coaching, learning, and faith. The JfL class consists of 16 sessions and teaches timeless biblical principles concerning work and the ways those principles are applied in the marketplace. In addition, the class equips the students with core work readiness skills such as presenting their 60 second commercial, developing a vocational plan, building a resume, learning effective interviewing skills, and many others. With this training and support system, churches and community organizations around the country are transforming lives and providing a reliable, trustworthy workforce to meet the pressing employment needs of companies in their area. BHA is excited to be in the planning stages for running our first Jobs for Life training class.
Capitol Area Coalition on Homelessness (CACH)
We are active participants in CACH, the leading coalition in the greater Harrisburg area working to reduce homeless by improving the collaboration and service delivery among local agencies. CACH also seeks to draw the local government, the business community, local educational agencies, and other community leaders to the table to address the wide range of causes and solutions to homelessness. CACH recently published a document entitled A 10-Year Blueprint to End Homelessness that was a collaborative effort of over 60 community leaders, resulting in a long range plan with proactive action steps for significantly reducing homelessness in our community. BHA's Executive Director Steve Schwartz serves on CACH's Coordinating Committee, and co-chairs the Service Delivery subcommittee.
The Allison Hill Mentoring Partnership (AHMP)
In 2010, with funding from Messiah College's Mentoring Partnership of Central Pennsylvania, BHA launched The Allison Hill Mentoring Partnership with 5 partner agencies. Joining with The Joshua Group, Brethren Community Ministries, Center for Champions, Danzante Community Arts Center and Allison Hill Community Ministries, the goal of AHMP is to work collaboratively to share resources and improve the quality and quantity of mentoring programs available to youth in Allison Hill. We're currently in the formative stage of this new organization but look forward to sharing more details as this vision becomes a reality.
The South Allison Hill neighborhood of Harrisburg, where BHA's offices and housing is located, was once the pride of Harrisburg. Over the years due to suburban flight, economic disinvestment, and a range of other challenges, this neighborhood became significantly distressed. We have taken part in major rejuvenation efforts over the years (such as the Weed and Seed and Elm Street initiatives), and continue to support community wide redevelopment efforts.
Other Community Partners
At BHA, we try not to reinvent the wheel when there is another community resource that we can tap into, specifically when our participants need assistance or services to achieve their goals. Here are a few of the agencies we work with on a regular basis:
- Brethren Community Ministries (GED preparation and computer literacy classes)
- Samara: The Center for Individual and Family Growth (Parenting Education)
- Pressley Ridge (individual and family counseling)
- YWCA of Greater Harrisburg (domestic violence counseling/support groups, childcare, and job training/placement)
- Program for Female Offenders (ex-offender services)
- Dauphin County Domestic Relations (child support/custody issues)
- Department of Public Welfare (public assistance)
- Dauphin County MH/MR (MH/MR services)
- MidPenn Legal Services (a wide variety of legal services)
- Tri-County OIC (adult education services)
- EDSI (job training/placement)
- Harrisburg School District (ensuring quality education and extra-curricular activities for the children in our program)
- Harrisburg Area Community College (career development and educational goal attainment)
- Gaudenzia, Inc. (drug and alcohol treatment services)
- Boys and Girls Club (extra-curricular activities for the children in our program)
- Hamilton Health Center (medical/dental services)
We are very thankful for these community partners and the quality support they offer to the families in our program.
Revised: 7/28/2012 2:05:54 PM