The Timothy House

Timothy House Plaque



Keith Wasserman started Good Works in the basement of his home on Elliott Street in Athens in 1981. In December 1984, Good Works, Inc., purchased the house on Central Avenue in order to provide shelter for the growing number of men, women and children who found themselves in homeless situations. This facility was named The Good Works Timothy House in 2001. This facility provides the only shelter for people without homes in eight southeast Ohio counties. The Good Works Timothy House is one of the oldest rural homeless shelters in Ohio.


This property is located in the neighborhood of the west end of Athens on Central Avenue. The Timothy House operates 24 hours daily. For the past several years, The Timothy House has provided around 100-200 men, women and children with about 3500 to 4500 nights of shelter. Anyone seeking shelter at The Timothy House must contact us first by telephone at 740.594.3333. We do not accept people into the house until they complete a telephone interview. After the telephone interview, a time for a face-to-face interview will be set. In most cases, this can occur within 24 hours.

Click here for true stories of people seeking shelter.
(Their names have been changed to protect their anonymity.)

To view “Growth In This Place,” a 12-minute documentary about the experiences of former residents of the Timothy House who are now on the Good Works staff, click here.

LISTEN here for a 3 minute audio story about the Good Works Timothy House.

STATISTICS from 2008-2017

This essay, Good Works Timothy House Beyond the Numbers released in February 2016, offers perspective and analysis on some of the statistics we have compiled over the past 9 years.

GW Timothy House 2016

  • In 2008, The Timothy House provided 168 men,women, and children 4,407 nights of food and shelter. We had to turn away 80 adults and children because of lack of space.
  • In 2009, The Timothy House provided 164 men, women, and children with 3,985 nights of food and shelter. We turned away 36 people.
  • In 2010, The Timothy House provide 171 men, women, and children with 4,046 nights of food and shelter. We turned away 86 people.
  • In 2011, The Timothy House provided 156 men, women, and children with 4,576 nights of food and shelter. We turned away 142 adults and children.
  • In 2012, The Timothy House provided 207 men, women, and children with 4,707 nights of food and shelter. We turned away 248 adults and children.
  • In 2013, The Timothy House provided 169 men, women, and children with 4,603 nights of food and shelter. We turned away 177 people.
  • In 2014, The Timothy House provided 132 men, women and children with 3,870 nights of food and shelter.
  • In 2015, The Timothy House provided 90 men, women and children with 3,782 nights of food and shelter
  • In 2016, The Timothy House provided 120 men, women and children with 3,642 nights of food and shelter.   
  • In the first six months of 2017, The Timothy House provided 54 men, women and children with 1,580 nights of shelter.

In December 2016, Good Works experienced a significant marker: We have provided more than 110,000 nights of shelter since we began keeping statistics in 1984.


Where are people coming from?
From 2009-2011:

  • 65% of the people we served were from Athens county.
  • 25% of the people we served were from other southeast Ohio counties.
  • 10% of the people we served would be considered “travelers.”


GOOD WORKS’ OBJECTIVE for the Timothy House is to provide a safe, clean, stable, temporary, yet homelike place for people to BE while the residents work on the issues in their lives, which led to the situation of their homelessness.

provide means that out of the love of God born in our lives, we stretch out our hands (at times sacrificially and painfully) to those in need.

safe means we place an emphasis on both physical safety and emotional safety.

clean means that we emphasize keeping bodies, buildings and motives clean.

stable means that when receiving a new person into our programs, we consider how they will impact those already here.

homelike means everyone has something to share and something to receive. Residents can help, encourage and protect one another.

place to BE means people are accepted for who they are, not just for what they do.

while the residents work means helping each person take responsibility for working toward solutions to the problems they are facing. This includes:

  1. Identifying the particular problems and issues unique to each person, naming them for what they are so that people can work on some things they can do something about.
  2. Working out short, medium and long-term goals and plans for moving forward in a positive direction.

on the issues means helping people find a reasonable place to begin unraveling the many tangled issues in their lives.

which led to homelessness
means recognizing that we also must work to prevent people from continuing to be homeless by facilitating healthy social networks among those who have become disconnected from their family and community.

2016-04-23 15.40.52

Some of the issues with which people without homes struggle are:

  • lack of affordable housing
  • lack of entry level and fair wage employment opportunities
  • mental and emotional illness
  • drug and alcohol addiction & abuse (including prescription drugs)
  • domestic disputes (almost half of the people we serve come to us as a result of some kind of domestic dispute)
  • legal problems
  • money management
  • child custody issues

Since 1981, we have served two-parent families, single-parent families, single men, single women, victims of domestic violence, the mentally and emotionally ill and abused, substance abusers, veterans, students and travelers.

To volunteer at The Timothy House, click on Volunteer Opportunities.


A FEW BRIEF STORIES of people who have called The Timothy House:

My name is Libby. I am 19 years old and I need a place to stay with my one year old son. My boyfriend kicked me out of the place where we were staying. I don’t have any family close to here. All of my family is in Cincinnati and West Virginia and none of them can come get me. I don’t have any money and my boyfriend is the only person I know around here.

My name is Richard. I am 53 years old and I need a place to stay for one night. I am from Colorado, but I’ve been staying in Reynoldsburg for two years. I was staying with friends, but they all left and went back to Colorado. I have money for a plane ticket back, and my flight leaves tomorrow. I called the Timothy House for a place to stay for a night, to shower and clean up before my flight.

My name is Jill. I am 24 years old and I need a place to stay with my two children. I am currently staying with my parents, but my aunt’s family is moving in. There isn’t room for everyone, so my parents are telling me to get out there and do something with my life. My car is impounded and my husband is living out of state, working an unstable job. The trailer I’m hoping to buy isn’t livable, but I don’t have any money to fix it up. I called the Timothy House, but they told me they were full. I can stay at my parents’ house one more night, but after that, I just don’t know.

My name is Riley. I am 30 years old and I need a place to stay with my seven year old son. I lived in Jackson County, until I was evicted in July because I ran out of money for rent. I’m currently staying at another shelter, but my son is not allowed to stay with me. Integrated Services referred me here, so I called the Timothy House.

My name is Kerri. I am 22 years old and I need a place to stay. I am from Hocking County, but I’ve been living in Athens for less than 6 months. I currently live with my fiancée, but he has become abusive. I’m staying with my mom for a few days, but I need shelter as soon as I can get it. I’m applying for jobs and trying to get back on my feet, but I still need a place to stay.

My name is Dennis. I am 21 years old and I need a place to stay. My parents split up and my mom lives in Columbus. I’ve been living with my dad in Jackson, but he just got kicked by the landlord. I’ve been unemployed since 2011, and I just got out of jail for petty theft. I’ve been staying with my uncle and with friends, but I can’t stay here long-term. My uncle told me about the Timothy House, so I called to see if they had room for me.

My name is Vicky. I am 22 years old and I need a place to stay. Two years ago, I moved to Nelsonville from Columbus because my family lives here. I’ve been staying with my grandfather for these two years. But his house got foreclosed, so we had to move out. I have nowhere to go. My parents live in Nelsonville, but my step-dad refuses to let me stay there. I have no job, no income, and I’m not connected to anyone or anything. I called the Timothy House for shelter.

My name is Ted. I am 27 years old and I need a place to stay. I’ve lived in Jackson for most of my life. I had a job and a great place to live, but the business I worked for closed. I was no longer able to pay rent, so I moved in with my girlfriend. We lived together for about 5 months, but then she up and left for Georgia. For the last 3 months, I’ve been living at shelters and with friends, because I don’t get along with my family. I called the Timothy House after my friend kicked me out.

My name is Brandon. I am 30 years old and I need a place to stay. I lived in Athens with my wife, but we split up, and she got the house. I came to Ohio from North Carolina around 2 years ago, and I currently work at Arby’s on State Street. I need a place to stay where I can save money to get my own place.

My name is Karla. I am 36 years old and I need a place to stay with my 2 children. I’ve been staying at my mom’s house, but last week she started to beat me. She only lets me stay there sometimes, but she lets my son stay with her. My daughter is staying with her father. I was referred here by Integrated Services.