DrawBridge: An Arts Program for Homeless Children

Rating: 5 stars   20 reviews

Issues: Arts & Culture, Children & Youth

Location: PO Box 2698 70 Skyview Terrace, Bldg. D San Rafael CA 94912 USA

Mission: The mission of DrawBridge is to provide art programs for homeless and other vulnerable children in an environment that fosters their sense of childhood joy, creativity and exuberance. Beyond that we strive to promote the well-being and stability of the family by creating a supportive community.
Results: We bring our Arts Program to 30 site weekly in 7 San Francisco Bay Area Counties: Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, San Mateo, San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma and Alameda.
Target demographics: Children in transitional homeless shelters and other vulnerable youth in the San Francisco Bay Area
Direct beneficiaries per year: Approximately 4000 children
Geographic areas served: San Francisco Bay Area
Programs: DrawBridge leads 30 weekly art groups in six San Francisco Bay Area counties. We expect that the numbers of children served in 2008 will exceed 1,700 as the program continues to expand throughout the Bay Area.

2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

DrawBridge is a great program for kids, I love to see them express their creativity in a setting that allows them to feel free and supported, it is the most rewarding experience as a volunteer to see their works of art and see how much they enjoy doing art.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I've been facilitating art groups for DrawBridge for over 15 years. This program is unique in that we art facilitators do not "teach" art lessons; rather, we provide all types of art materials so that children can explore their own creativity in a non-threatening environment. Kids who've experienced homelessness and poverty need more than food and shelter. They need emotional nourishment, too. They need consistency so that they can learn how to trust. That's what we strive to provide at our art groups.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Drawbridge has been such an amazing experience for me as a volunteer and as a person. I have learned so much from the children we serve and it warms my heart to know that we are providing an amazing service (and good creative time) for those less fortunate.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I have facilitated a Drawbridge art group for 8 years, and feel very fortunate to be a part of this incredible organization. My group is in a transitional housing complex where mothers and children of domestic violence can live for two years. There are many programs at this site to help the mother's adapt to their new situation, but nothing for the children. The kids look forward to this weekly art experience and I have seen wonderful transformations as children build trusting relationships with me and the volunteers, and gain confidence in themselves as they explore a wide variety of art materials.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I've facilitated a weekly art program for many years now. I see the joy that the children experience every time they create something. I endeavor to provide a safe place for children to express themselves and have a very good time. Drawbridge provides top quality art supplies and support for working with children whose are experiencing the difficulties of homelessness.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Role: Volunteer
Rating: 5 stars  

DrawBridge is a great program, providing a consistent presence for homeless and other vulnerable children for over 20 years. Watching these children open up and have an opportunity to just be kids is so gratifying. One mom told me that her daughter now wakes up every morning and asks, "is today art day?" I've seen this child change from sullen and withdrawn, to open, joyful and confident. The expressive arts programs offered by DrawBridge make a huge difference in the lives of these vulnerable children.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

11 people found this review helpful

Drawbridge is a wonderful program that provides a time and place for homeless and other kids in need to express themselves, away from the emotional,physical, and financial stresses of their lives. The volunteers and facilitators offer love, support, consistency and attention that may be lacking in their lives. For example, a 5 year old joined the group with an alarming and destructive dose of self loathing. As volunteers and facilitators have given her consistent non-judgmental support week after week, her self confidence and socialization skills have improved. Drawbridge has been a consistent positive presence in many of these children's lives for years.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the happy faces and big hugs the children offer when arriving each week.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the amazing resiliency and spirit of the children

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

kind, giving, perceptive and knowledgable

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Put a serious dent in the next generation of homelessness through the mentoring of children.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-2-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Drawbridge provides support to a deserving, under-served population. Providing these children with a creative outlet is invaluable. These kids feel comfortable expressing themselves in what they perceive to be a safe environment.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Working with homeless children on a weekly basis was so rewarding for them as well as myself. I became an important part of their week & the art group was a fun place to forget their worries and enjoy the art materials.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I cannot think of a more deserving population than homeless children that don't have the bare basics as a roof over their heads and a bed to cope with a life of uncertainties and guaranteed hunger. Drawbridge focuses on the most vulnerable of populations. Non-profits that serve the homeless do not enjoy the glitz and prestige of other organizations especially if you compare them to other artistic non-profits. Drawbridge is unique and with a truly altruistic mission! Lydia Arellano

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

This amazing organization serves a community of children who would never be provided with the opportunities and support, but for its devotion to them. Both, in terms of service and personal attention. It is grass roots and volunteer directed professionally and from the heart. The funds go to those that need and not to support its infrastructure.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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