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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts Services, Children & Youth, Youth Development Programs

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.

Community Stories

22 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

By creating art we get to know and express ourselves. In the uncertain
>> lives of children experiencing homelessness, there might not be time
>> for this. DrawBridge provides just that. As a facilitator I have the
>> privilege of witnessing the joy that the children experience as they
>> express their creativity with the art materials we provide---every
>> week.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This is my 11th year working with Drawbridge! The organization continues to have a strong commitment to bringing art-making opportunities and joy to the lives of homeless children in many shelters and temporary and low income housing facilities in the SF Bay area. The weekly art groups provide a safe space for the children to experience quality art supplies, and the freedom and support to experiment and express themselves. As a facilitator at two sites, I feel so lucky to be able to connect with the children and offer an hour of creativity, exploration, and fun!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Cara S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories
11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Audrey Z.

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Donor

Rating: 5

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