Better Business Bureau Report for
Bethesda House of Schenectady, Inc.

Better Business Bureau Report issued April 2014
Better Business Bureau Report expires April 2016

Does not meet one or more standards
This charity does not meet one or more of the 20 standards for Charity Accountability. Find out more...

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Charity Contact Information

Name: Bethesda House of Schenectady, Inc.
Address: 834 State Street
  Schenectady, NY 12307
Phone: 518-374-7873
Web Address:
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Better Business Bureau Comments

Year, State Incorporated: 1992, New York
Affiliates: None
Stated Purpose: "exists as an interfaith ministry to the homeless, disabled and economically disadvantaged citizens of Schenectady County, building a just, hospitable and inclusive community one person at a time by affirming the dignity and addressing the needs of each guest entering this “House of Mercy”.

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Evaluation Conclusions


Bethesda House of Schenectady, Inc. (BHS) does not meet the following 5 Standards for Charity Accountability.

Standard 7: Board Approval of Written Report on Effectiveness - Submit to the organization's governing body, for its approval, a written report that outlines the results of the aforementioned performance and effectiveness assessment and recommendations for future actions.

BHS does not meet this Standard because:

  • It did not produce a written report outlining the results of its most recent effectiveness assessment.

Standard 14: Budget - Have a board-approved annual budget for its current fiscal year, outlining projected expenses for major program activities, fund raising, and administration.

BHS does not meet this Standard because, when the organization provided budget information, it indicated that the budget:

  • Did not identify total projected program service expenses.
  • Did not identify total projected administrative expenses.

Standard 16: Annual Report - Have an annual report available to all, on request, that includes: (a) the organization's mission statement, (b) a summary of the past year's program service accomplishments, (c) a roster of the officers and members of the board of directors, (d) financial information that includes (i) total income in the past fiscal year, (ii) expenses in the same program, fund raising and administrative categories as in the financial statements, and (iii) ending net assets.

BHS does not meet this standard because the most recent annual report did not include:

  • A roster of the board of directors
  • Total revenue
  • Total program, administrative and fundraising expenses
  • Total end of year net assets.

Standard 17: Web Site Disclosures - Include on any charity websites that solicit contributions, the same information that is recommended for annual reports, as well as the mailing address of the charity and electronic access to its most recent IRS Form 990.

BHS does not meet this Standard because the organization's website,, does not include all of the recommended information for those charity websites that solicit for donations. Specifically, it does not include:

  • Electronic access to the organization’s most recent IRS Form 990.

Standard 18: Privacy for Written Appeals & Internet Privacy - Address privacy concerns of donors by (a) providing in written appeals, at least annually, a means (e.g., such as a check off box) for both new and continuing donors to inform the charity if they do not want their name and address shared outside the organization, (b) providing a clear, prominent and easily accessible privacy policy on any of its websites that tells visitors (i) what information, if any, is being collected about them by the charity and how this information will be used, (ii) how to contact the charity to review personal information collected and request corrections, (iii) how to inform the charity (e.g., a check off box) that the visitor does not wish his/her personal information to be shared outside the organization, and (iv) what security measures the charity has in place to protect personal information.

BHS does not meet this Standard because:

  • It does not have an online privacy policy. 
In addition, the BBB serving Albany, Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse Regions requested but did not receive complete information on the organization’s governance and oversight and solicitation materials and is unable to verify the organization's compliance with the following 3Standards for Charity Accountability: 2, 4, and 15.
Bethesda House of Schenectady, Inc. (BHS) meets the remaining 12 Standards for Charity Accountability.
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Bethesda House combines Day Shelter Programs, Case Management, Permanent Supportive Housing, and Emergency Shelter for Veterans. Bethesda House’s core programs address homelessness; rapid housing for homeless individuals, eviction prevention for at-risk individuals, basic and emergency needs assistance, permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless individuals and emergency shelter for veterans. Bethesda House has a primary homeless prevention program: the Representative Payee Financial Management Program (Rep. Payee). With this program individuals rent from local landlords and receive support services from Bethesda House. In the Rep. Payee Program support includes financial management of the disabled member’s SSI (supplemental security income) benefit check as well as life skills to support independent living in the community. Bethesda House provides for other basic needs through its soup kitchen, emergency food pantry, clothing program, a Safe Haven offering fellowship and community, showers and laundry, mailboxes and storage lockers, phone/fax/computer access, hygiene kits, women’s support group, referral services, emergency/crisis Case Management, Housing Case Management. Bethesda House provides space on-site for a variety of partner agencies that have satellite programs. Partners include: the AIDS Council of NENY, Cornell Cooperative Extension, National Grid Advocate, AAUW Women’s crafts, VA Healthcare, Fidelis: health insurance, NA Groups, and YWCA Outreach Cancer Screening.

For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013, BHS's program expenses were:

Program Services 1,194,554
Total Program Expenses: $1,194,554
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Chief Executive : Kimarie Sheppard, Executive Director

Chair of the Board:
Chair's Profession / Business Affiliation:

Board Size: 14

Paid Staff Size: 28

*Compensation includes annual salary and, if applicable, benefit plans, expense accounts, and other allowances.
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Fund Raising


Method(s) Used:

direct mail, invitations to fund raising events, grant proposals, internet
Fund raising costs were 4% of related contributions. (Related contributions, which totaled $1,087,853, are donations received as a result of fund raising activities.)
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Tax Status


This organization is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It is eligible to receive contributions deductible as charitable donations for federal income tax purposes.
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The following information is based on BHS's audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013.

Source of Funds  
Grants HUD 617,365
Grants ESG 136,808
Donations 112,432
Rent Income 74,628
Foundation Grants 74,000
Grants SRO 62,204
Veterans Homeless Housing 49,875
Grants United Way 34,212
Special Events Contributions 30,392
Rep Payee Fees 17,730
Grants OMH 12,606
Miscellaneous 7,952
Grants HPRP 7,834
Unrealized G/L-Realized G/L 676
Interest/Dividends 61
Total Income $1,238,775


Uses of Funds as a % of Total Expenses

Programs: 89%  Fund Raising: 3%  Administrative: 8% 

Total income $1,238,775
Program expenses $1,194,554
Fund raising expenses 38,640
Administrative expenses 104,946
Total expenses $1,338,140
Expenses in Excess of Income (99,365)
Beginning net assets 3,955,318
Ending net assets 3,855,953
Total liabilities 366,058
Total assets $4,222,011

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An organization may change its practices at any time without notice. A copy of this report has been shared with the organization prior to publication. It is not intended to recommend or deprecate, and is furnished solely to assist you in exercising your own judgment. If the report is about a charity and states the charity meets or does not meet the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability, it reflects the results of an evaluation of information and materials provided voluntarily by the charity. The name Better Business Bureau is a registered service mark of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc.

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