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2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Bridge Communities

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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: Bridge Communities' mission is to inspire and affect change by advocating for homeless families while at the same time providing services and opportunities that connect those families to a better future.

Results: Since 1998, Bridge Communities has helped over 450 families achieve self-sufficiency, financial stability and permanent housing.

Target demographics: Bridge Communities provides transitional housing and comprehensive services to homeless families that work or live in DuPage County, Illinois

Direct beneficiaries per year: In 2011, Bridge Communities served 106 homeless families.

Geographic areas served: DuPage County, Illinois

Programs: Bridge Communities provides safe, affordable housing for homeless families coupled with life-skills mentoring, employment counseling, educational tutoring, budget management and car donations.

Donor & Volunteer Advisory

This organization's nonprofit status may have been revoked or it may have merged with another organization or ceased operations.

Community Stories

24 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Chad16

Donor

Rating: 5

My introduction to Bridge Communities began as a volunteer in 2010 and grew into a position helping the organization as they grow their capabilities to serve a larger homeless family population. With strong fiduciary oversight and lean operations expenses, Bridge Communities dedicates their resources and focus to the goal of self-sufficiency for homeless families. Their staff members are engaged and compassionate, and the more than 750 graduate families who are no longer homeless are a testament to their impact and influence towards making a difference in our world.

Georgiana C.

Donor

Rating: 5

Bridge Communities is a non-profit that makes real differences in the lives of the people it helps. Not only does Bridge help families with their immediate need to have housing, Bridge also gives these families tools to help them create a secure future for themselves. I am also impressed that much of Bridge's work is done in partnership with volunteer mentors who work closely with the families. I am happy to support Bridge Communities and their efforts to make measurable differences in the lives of the people they help.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have participated in Bridge Communities' Sleep Out Saturday for the past two years, and both times, I have been so glad I did it. It is a truly difficult experience, but it really creates empathy for the families served by Bridge and gives you a better appreciation of what they had to go through. As I have found out more and more about Bridge, I am really glad to support their organization and see more families get back on their feet. All the staff I have met have been a great mix of professionals and really care about the homeless families they serve. All in all, I find Bridge to be a fantastic organization that is worthy of support.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a firm believer in the old adage of "There but for the grace of God, go I." I believe in Bridge and volunteer because Bridge is working to break the cycle of homelessness. To me the philosophy of teaching someone how to change their lifestyle to become independent and self sufficient, instead of just giving them a quick fix, is the meaning of success. The families establish pride and ownership in themselves and teach their children how to become successful adults. The concept of a hand up instead of a hand out! The staff are dedicated, caring professionals who go beyond the norm to make sure that their families succeed. They become honorary family members. It is not a job for them, it is a calling.

Alicia R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer for Bridge Communities, I can honestly say I have never worked with a more dedicated, professional group of individuals who are truly committed to their work and their mission. Homelessness must be addressed and Bridge does this in a way that doesn't diminish the dignity of any family who needs help. Part of this is making the family realize that this is not a handout. They, in return for the help they receive, must dedicate themselves to the tasks at hand. There are those that have trouble committing to the Bridge path of success. Those who have completed the program have moved on to fulfilling lives. Volunteering, in any way, has made me realize even more than ever, what a great life I have and how much others need help and guidance. Thank God for Bridge Communities!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As one of the program partner parishes that Bridge Communities works with, I can say that they are one of the the most well organized, professionally staffed, and truly committed groups I have had the opportunity to work with. Bridge Communities has assisted our parish's transitional housing ministry in the early formation, through it's growth and into it's maturity. There staff has always been avaialble to assist us in any crisis, challenge or celebration. We have had the opportunity to use all the resources that Bridge provides. The educational coordinator, the employment coordinator, the executive director, the president and, most especially the case manager assigned to our group, have always been avaialble to us and willing to help us and be creative in solutions to help our clients on the road back to self-sufficiency. Bridge is a great group, with a great mission and a great deal of committment to what they do. We are thankful to be associated with them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am with one of the community partners helping provide mentors and financial support for Bridge families. Our church is much enriched by this relationship, as our volunteers are able to work with families striving to regain solid financial footing knowing that all of the professional resources Bridge provides are available to them. While the mentors visit their families weekly for budget guidance and emotional support, Bridge offers case management, tutoring, job assistance, and counseling for the clients. They are also the landlord of the apartments and secure a car for guest families as well. They screen the applicants to try and find families who have a desire and potential for success in the program. We would not be able to offer Transitional Housing assistance without them.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Bridge Communities was something I had never heard of until members of my family were taken into the program. They were taught a great deal by the bridge volunteers, so that they now are back on their feet and self sufficient and helping others. It was a wonderful learning experience for the children too. They learned to do without, so when they do get things now, they are extremely greatful. Thank You to all the volunteers for their many hours of service and love, for I feel that is what drives them all. Love.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Bridge does a wonderful job of rescuing people who are on the edge of homelessness and providing them with a group of mentors that want them to succeed. Bridge works with various organizations who sponsor the family with a free apartment for two years. Bridge helps with training for the mentors and after school help and tutoring for the children. it is a powerful partnership that works to the benefit of the family at risk.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering as a mentor for families in the Bridge program for 9 years. It is easily one of the most worthwhile activities that I have ever done. It gives you the chance to make a huge difference in the life of one family.

Rose M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a recipient of Bridge Communities, I can truly say that this is a phenomenal organization. When my children and I were at our lowest point in life, Bridge was there to pick us up again. It is so amazing what a group of caring people can do to help others in need. They changed our lives. The mentors that chose my family were the best anyone could ever wish for. I have learned so many valuable life skills, like managing personal finances and living on a budget. Nowadays, I advocate the importance of education, volunteering and financial training for college students. My life was totally transformed by Bridge and today I volunteer for the organization by helping others in the program. In order to repay all the good Bridge has done for my family, I try to help out in any way possible. Bridge Communities truly bridged the gap to make my broken home whole again. I really believe in this organization, it is God sent.

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I stared volunteering for Bridge about two years ago. My husband and I were invited to a Bridge Garden Party by a personal friend who at the time was also member of the Bridge Board. Until that time I had not heard of Bridge. Since I was retired and had time on my hands I offered to volunteer. I have since become a member of the Development Committee and have been volunteering in the office from time to time. Bridge made me aware of the homelessness in Du Page county which I'm sure many folks find hard to believe. While working in the office, I've seen women come in with their children in tow looking for help. The staff/volunteers/ tutors are caring and dedicated to seeing each and every client succeeds. The screening process to become a client of Bridge is very extensive and a strong commitment of the clients to the program is required. There is a lot of hard work by both Bridge and the clients to ensure a successful outcome of the program. Bridge Communities is a wonderful non-profit organization that is dedicated to helping the homeless.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Bridge Communities is an outstanding organization that provides renewed hope to many families in DuPage County by offering them not only housing, but so many other services to get them back on their feet.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Bridge Communities is truly an amazing organization. Its employees, volunteer mentors, board members and program partners all come together to provide a network of support for homeless families, allowing them to transition to stability while giving them the skills they need to stay independent. The Sleep Out Saturday event brings area youth groups and families together to raise money and awareness about homelessness in our area. It is so inspirational to hear the stories of these families and the difference Bridge has made in their lives.

Donor

Rating: 5

Sleep Out Saturday is an amazing event! Not only does it raise much needed funds for the families at Bridge Communities, but it provides an outstanding opportunity to spread the word about homelessness and to experience it firsthand. Bridge does an incredible job of working with families with little or no hope and changing their lives forever.

Beth S.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I recently participated in Bridge Communities Sleep Out Saturday event at the beginning of November. I suddenly became aware of many of the obstacles that homeless people face on a daily basis. Although the Sleep Out was for one night, at the end of the night, I was able to go home and get warm and comfortable. Homeles people dont have anywhere to go. Food and shelter, a clean place to use the restroom, are major obstacles. I was able to share the evening with a group of friends, who do the homeless share their time with? Who brings up their morale and cheer them on? Its agencies like Bridge Communities and their programs that help people get back on their feet and better their situations.

Donor

Rating: 5

A dear friend and her children were homeless and the Bridge Communities assisted them in getting basic life needs met so they could focus on moving forward in life. As a result of what Bridge provided, my friend and her children are happy, healthy and grateful for all they have. Bridge gave them hope and help during a difficult time.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My children and I were Bridge clients for 2 years, and recently exited the program. While in the program I was given the opportunity to go to college, graduate with high honors, and now I have a great job doing what I love! My children have also flourished since entering Bridge Communities. Bridge provided them with counseling, tutors, and even assisted with their sports activities and summer camp. None of this could have been possible without the compassion, dedication and relentlessness of the Bridge staff & volunteers! We are so very grateful for all that Bridge Communities, their volnteers, donors, and many community partners have done for us. Even now that we are no longer in the program, they continue to be there for us. We had a house fire a month ago, and the staff at Bridge jumped right in and asked what we needed. As well as the volunteers that worked with us faithfully for over 2 years. They helped us keep our eyes on the future, and not lose hope with yet another trajedy in our lives. Amazing!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My group has been a partner under the Bridge Communities umbrella for 16 years. The support that Bridge offers both clients and volunteers and the dedication of the Bridge staff is amazing. Just today our client was fired from her job and the Bridge staff member who knows her best spent at least 4 hours with the client and then 2 hours with the mentor team to help us process the situation and explore the next step. During all these years I've been impressed with Bridge's flexibility and creativity in helping our clients to be successful.