November 30, 2010
Bridge Communities provides a holistic program to help many volunteers mentor over 100 homeless families become independent and live in their own housing. Bridge owns its own apartment buildings, and has an employment counselor, and a staff of tutors to upgrade the education levels of the children in the program. The key to the organization is that Bridge has recruited 45 churches to sponsor the families and serve their needs with advice and resources to be able to help themselves.
A church will agree to sponsor a family which ususally consists of a mother and two children. the family moves into a Bridge unit which was furnished by the church. A church volunteer serves as a mentor to the family and meets with them once a week to go over the budget and developments with jobs, tests, training, nutrition, etc. The Bridge case manager trains and supports the mentors, and recommends action steps. The Bridge Employment counselor and tutor works with the mother and the children. Bridge also provides cars as needed to the family. After 2 years, the family is expected to be able to move on to their own housing. There is a lot of leverage in this story, which enables Bridge to serve more people. The success ratio is very implressive.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
many ways. I have know people who have graduated from the program and gotten college degrees, their children upgrading their standing in schools, and influencing the parents to expect more of themselves. I have seen many miracles from the kindness shown by the volunteers.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
continue to press for growth in the program to serve more homeless families.
Board Member & I co-founded Bridge Communities, and I served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for 20 years. Over the 22 years ofoperation, I have moved a lot of furniture, raised a lot of money, hired many good people, and watched God work the magic. .