Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

Bridges To Life

456 pageviews

Claim This Nonprofit

More Info

Add to Favorites

Share this Nonprofit

Donate

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Citizen Participation, Crime & Law, Human Services, Inmate Support, Rehabilitation Services for Offenders, Victims Services

Mission: The mission of Bridges To LIfe is  to connect communities to prisons in an effort to reduce the recidivism rate, particularly that resulting from violent crimes, and thereby effect a consequent reduction in the number of crime victims and enhanced public safety.

Geographic areas served: Texas

Programs:  The Bridges To Life program has two main goals: (1) to facilitate the healing process for both victims and offenders and (2) to reduce recidivism rates of program graduates. These goals are met through an intensive, 14-week program during which victim volunteers and offenders are brought together along with a facilitator.  To meet the program’s objective of providing a safe environment for offender and victim, a small group format is utilized that emphasizes confidentiality and compassion. The weekly sessions focus on topics that include: 1) understanding the effects of crime and the relationship between offenders an victims; 2) understanding the importance of faith and stories in the healing process; 3) understanding responsibility and accountability after an offense; 4) understanding the importance of confession, repentance and forgiveness after an offense; and 5) understanding the importance of reconciliation and restitution after an offense and actually participate in symbolic restitution. The groups are facilitated with the aid of a training manual and study guide, which offer opportunity for learning, growth and reflection.

Community Stories

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My attitude used to be, lock'em up and throw away the key...that was until I realized that when they get out, they come to live in your neighborhood and mine! In the fall of 2011, in God's perfect timing, I was invited by a victim volunteer to a Bridges to Life graduation. We listened to man after man tell how their involvement in BTL had made a powerful and positive impact in their life. The quote I wrote down that evening from a graduating offender was "I now realize that my family is my biggest victim because I am not there for them."
Because of that evening and my on-going 2 year involvement as a volunteer, I support Bridges to Life both financially and as a volunteer group facilitator in a unit. I am blessed to watch men begin the 16 week program very reserved, suspicious, hard, and closed. By program end these same men choke back tears because someone has loved them at just the right time in their life as they experience personally a part of the BTL mission statement "...transforming power of God's love and forgiveness."
Furthermore the BTL Book and Study guide have opened their hearts and minds to accept responsibility for their actions, confess and repent of past wrongs, ask for forgiveness and pursue reconciliation and restitution where possible. It is hard to believe a program could be this effective to turn the hearts of men towards God and their families but it happens time and time again. Men for the first time in their life have a vision of themselves out of prison, back in their families lives and making a positive difference in their community. I simply have not found a better use of my time and treasure than investing in the least of these.

Review from Guidestar

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was a client of the Bridges To Life program shortly after I was incarcerated in 2008. I already had an idea about God and Christ but was not really sure how the idea applied to life in general. A friend of mine talked me into attending a recruiting night for the program and I walked away having felt that I had seen a visual representation of Christ. Volunteers who not only came into and visited with the same types of people responsible for their heartache, but also cared and loved us in spite of the pain. This was the foundation that I built my spiritual journey on and truly began to understand forgiveness. I did six years and recently got out but I've carried the stories and love that I learned in the program with me and they are a daily reminder of how to live a life focused on forgiveness and restoration.

Review from Guidestar

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a Bridges To Life volunteer for thirteen years, a Board Member for seven years, and Chairman of the Board for two years. I am committed to Bridges To Life for many reasons. It effectively ministers to those who have been victims of crime and those who are incarcerated for their crimes. It helps victims gain at least some healing of the hurt resulting from crime. It brings light into the life of those who are incarcerated and significantly reduces their recidivism after release—making our society safer. The organization is operated on the basis of important business principles: sticking to its mission, measurement of performance, consistent growth, effective implementation, and highly efficient operation. In summary, Bridges To Life makes a substantial positive contribution to society that is extremely cost effective.

Review from Guidestar