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Bridge Over Troubled Waters Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations, Children & Youth, Human Services, Mental Health, Mental Health Treatment, Substance Abuse Dependency, Prevention & Treatment, Youth Development Programs

Mission: Intervention, prevention, and outreach services to runaways and other homeless and at-risk youth.

Programs: Outreach and support services which includes counseling, educational and workforce development, medical van and outreach, dental and medical clinics -counseling services by bridge's licensed counselors specialize in dealing with homelessness, substance abuse, sexual abuse, trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, attachment disorder, and other disorders, including depression and anxiety. Youth who are interested in counseling must meet with an intake specialist before being assigned to a counselor. Counseling is free and confidential. -medical and dental services through partnerships with harvard, tufts, the sydney borum health center, the justice resource institute, and mac, bridge provides weekly dental clinics, medical clinics, and hiv/std testing and counseling to youth ages 14 to 24. All services are provided at the bridge main facility at 47 west street and are free and confidential. -ged program through bridge's ged program helps students earn their ged. Students may enter the program at any time and work at their own pace to build academic skills to help them reach their long-term educational and career goals. Students also develop job and computer skills necessary for both college and the workplace. -college and career counseling through bridge's college and career counselor assists youth with job searches, college applications, interview preparation, resumes and cover letters, finding professional clothing for interviews, and provide counseling and referrals to address barriers to employment. -the mobile medical van and the outreach mini-van travel through boston, cambridge, and surrounding areas weekday evenings, offering free and confidential services at locations where young people gather. Volunteer medical staff offer homeless and street youth free basic first aid, referrals, and health advice, as well as access to services including crisis intervention, emergency shelter, survival items (food, blankets, clothes), assessment, counseling, and education. The van offers youth a place to connect with a supportive adult. The vans make more than 3,000 contacts a year with street youth.

emergency services which includes the following programs: -transitional day program (tdp) is a drop-in center where homeless young people can get a hot meal, take a shower, access lockers, do laundry, connect with case managers, and participate in workshops. The tdp offers breakfast and lunch, as well as a safe and comfortable space to relax, read, use computers, and connect with friends or staff. -warming center is open every night from 10 pm to 7 am. The center offers homeless youth warmth, safety, and supportive adults who can help. -emergency youth shelter provides homeless young adults with shelter, food, clothing, meals, and safety, along with access to a wide range of support and services, all designed to help young people overcome difficult circumstances, become self-sufficient, and obtain transitional or permanent housing. Beds are available both on an emergency basis and for longer periods of time as a "contract bed" for youth who are actively working toward independence.

residential services which includes our transitional living programs, maternal group home and runaway shelter -transitional living program provides housing, life-skills training, and support to homeless youth ages 18 to 21. Young people live among their peers while they learn the life skills necessary to successfully manage and sustain their own households. Through groups and individual counseling, residents learn how to set goals and work toward them while focusing on daily routines that may include work, school, homemaking, shared meals, and a regular calendar of traditional holidays and events. All residents have access to all the services available at bridge. -maternal group home provides housing, life-skills training, and support to homeless pregnant or parenting girls ages 18 to 21 and their children. Young women live among their peers while they learn the life skills needed to successfully manage and sustain their own households and raise healthy children. Through groups and individual counseling, residents learn how to set goals and work toward them, while focusing on daily routines that may include work, school, child care, and homemaking and shared meals. Mothers participate in parenting education and groups on health, nutrition, and nurturing care. All residents have access to services available at bridge. -runaway services bridge is the local respondent for the national runaway hotline (1-800-runaway), offering 24-hour access to a counselor and a safe bed off the streets for youth 14 to 17 years old who have run away from home and find themselves in crisis. Bridge staff will contact metro cab to pick up youth 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, within a 30-mile radius of boston-at no cost to the youth-and safely transport them to our transitional living program in brighton for shelter and services.

Community Stories

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have worked in the public schools with gang- and court-involved youth for the past 20 years and have regularly used Bridge as a resource when I can find no other supports for my students.

Bridge does an outstanding job picking up where schools, homeless shelters, and social service organizations leave off. They serve young people who are homeless, providing them with everything from a warm shower to counseling to GED classes, in addition to housing.

While their counselors are often young and inexperienced, at worst they serve as a listening ear and at best they can refer clients to all kinds of necessary services. Richard Brunson, who is a veteran counselor, is truly gifted at what he does and any young person would be well-served to work with him.

Donor

Rating: 5

Bridge is a remarkable organization doing invaluable work. I first became aware of the organization through its mobile medical van service making a stop in Harvard Square. The van is a respite on wheels, where young people can receive medical information or referrals, first aid, or even a just cup of hot chocolate.

I began donating to Bridge and have sustained my giving because of the comprehensive approach. The teens that come to Bridge are not homeless - they are formerly homeless because from the second they connect, they have a home at Bridge. They have an extensive network of support - educational, medical, dental, job training, and parenting resources in addition to access to technology, a safe and secure place, peers who become friends, and adults who are outspoken advocates on their behalf. A warm, safe shelter is always available. Every night.

I know the money I pledge is being put to great use. One of the most recent stories that was shared with me was of a Bridge alum in college who, unlike her classmates, did not have a home to return to during breaks. Advocates from Bridge worked with the university to ensure she could stay in her dorm during these times. I love that the support, commitment and problem solving never comes to an end.

Thank you!!

Molly A.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

1 star is a overstatement. I called to simply find out if they had openings for volunteers and the person on the phone in the outreach department was EXTREMELY rude. I have never been treated so poorly by a so called professional in my entire life. I was inquiring about VOLUNTEERING HOURS and this person said I was stupid for having called the outreach department, when it was the operator who connected me there. He proceeded to yell at me, laugh at me for my inquiry with a hostile and aggressive manner. I am so flabbergasted at how I was treated that I told him I wanted to be connected with his manager and he hung up on me. Then I called back and asked the operator to connect me and she talked to me with the same indecent and terrible attitude. This organization is run by the ignorant and extremely rude who should all be fired. I can't stress enough how horribly I was treated and I am not exaggerating. HORRIBLE ORGANIZATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Review from Guidestar