Celebrating 40: Kathy Griffin

Kathy Griffin began her 17-year service with Bethany House as a Case Manager under the direction of Sr. Faith Cosky.

As a survivor of domestic violence, Kathy understood what the women receiving shelter were going through. She built great relationships with participants because she had come through an experience similar to theirs.

Her experience as a survivor motivated her to accept the position of Director of Bethany House in 2001, a role she served in for 12 years. 

“Kathy loved and lived Bethany House for a long time,” reflects her predecessor Michele Karcher-Clark.

Kathy excelled in community engagement, advocating publicly for survivors of domestic violence and Bethany House, and she was often called on to share her personal story. 


During Kathy’s time as director, Bethany House moved to its current location, a building where each survivor can live in their own apartment with their children. The most significant improvement in moving to a building with apartment-style living is the dignity it affords participants. The previous location had a shared kitchen and bathrooms, and the only private spaces for families to retreat to were bedrooms. While that building served the purpose of Bethany House well for many years, the upgrade was an improvement that almost cannot be measured.

Kathy was also instrumental in normalizing the fact that, as a long-term shelter, Bethany House is a home for participants, often for more than a year. It was important to her that Bethany House staff understand that they work where the participants live. As such, Kathy coached staff members to extend grace to participants, acknowledging that people deserve to be at ease and feel comfortable to be their authentic selves at all times.

Skip to content