I showed up with my husband and a few of the members of our community organization (the North Miami Jaycees) to help some of our friends who volunteer monthly at Bridge to Hope. As a person who regularly organizes events, I was immediately struck by how organized the whole operation was despite the many and varied tasks to be accomplished in a short time. My group was immediately put to work and we did not stop for at least three hours. We had the opportunity to meet and talk with Pastors' Stone at the end and we all left feeling like we had done a really great thing. The November event included a full Thanksgiving feast, canned foods to take home, and even clothing. Despite being an hour's drive from our neighborhood, I suspect we will return (hopefully a couple of times) next year.
It is a pleasure to write this review for Bridge to Hope as I am deeply grateful for Vanessa Tinsley's assistance. I am a nonprofit professional, and a client experiencing homelessness. While every story is unique, I have none of the general precursors to homelessness, and my needs often go unmet because they do not fit within systematized eligibility criteria. Trying to secure a new job when one cannot meet the most basic of human needs only extends the time frame of homelessness. When I contacted Vanessa for assistance, I explained I had been living in an airport for a good part of a month waiting for services and a friend had agreed to assist temporarily; however, my friend was also struggling and food would benefit us both. Due to the nature of this housing arrangement, I did not have shelter documentation to substantiate homelessness. Vanessa's demeanor over the phone was kind, supportive, objective, and she offered a "no questions asked" solution: plenty of food for us both on that same day. After we loaded my cart with groceries and toiletry items, Vanessa spent an hour talking with me about my story, and we spoke as fellow women and human beings. Thank you to everyone affiliated with Bridges to Hope. Your assistance is not a "donation"; it is an act of justice and kindness.