Where are we now?
For many of us 2019 was a year of rapid development and faith: believing that God will equip and enable us to continue to meet the needs of families in our community. We believed for a larger space for Bridges Boutique and miraculously the doors opened at 800 W. Beltline Rd. on January 8th. We believe that the Safehouse will expand to ten bedrooms instead of just five. We believe we will make less referrals to other homes and shelters due to lack of accommodation. We believe we will continue to fortify the families who reside at Bridges, and extend our hands to vulnerable and at-risk families to prevent homelessness in the first place.
This year, we are Bridging through Barriers, declaring that Bridges’ families will move from “I can’t” to “I can and I will.” Our staff and volunteers link arms with our families to change negative perspectives to positive mindsets. We walk with our families on their journeys to achieve liberation from the cycle of poverty, and create a new lifestyle of stability and consistency, leading to generational blessings.
Bridges connects mothers in crisis to “help, hope, and home.” We desire to reach mothers in need before they face a crisis—escalating Bridges to a ministry of proactivity, rather than just reactivity.
In 2019, Bridges ministered to 435 people: 161 mothers and 274 children. Compared to previous years at the Safehouse, this statistic stands paramount as it represents the highest number of families served since Bridges began. During their stay at Bridges, families not only experience a refuge in time of need and have basic needs met (e.g. food, clothing), but they receive tools to learn independence and permanency. These tools include classes on budgeting, parenting, cooking, job seeking, and building healthy relationships. We also help our families grow in their relationships with Christ, which in turn teaches families about their intrinsic, priceless value to the Creator. We help our mothers connect to long-term programs, which further prepare them to obtain their own homes.
We started our Community Diaper Pantry in 2018! Since we redefined our mission to a more proactive approach, we found a unique way to reach out to families in our community by providing assistance via our diaper pantry. Families simply contact us to pre-register and make an appointment, then come to our Bridges Boutique to receive diapers and other hygiene items. Families participate in a parenting class as apart of this outreach ministry. This frees up families’ income dedicated to diapers to go towards other necessities for the family, such as childcare, housing and transportation. Families grow in their hope to know they can achieve consistency and stability in their lives, and avert the disaster of homelessness.
Some mothers come to Bridges who have lived out of their vehicle for months. While we have four walls surrounding a living space, they have vehicles set up with the bare essentials of day-to-day life, including a potty chair for their two-year-old, a sterilite container of snacks, blankets, laundry detergent, and an outfit on a hanger to go on a job interview. The vehicle represents the mother’s strivings to keep her and her babies together. This past year, we created a simulation of such a “mobile” home to provide a vivid visual on the lengths that some mothers go through to keep their families intact. “My Home Has Wheels” is an actual van wrapped in pictures and statistics regarding homelessness, with the inside set-up as an example of living out of a vehicle. We stage the van at various events in our community to give people a better understanding of the epidemic of homelessness, and what they can do to partner with Bridges to circumvent that epidemic.
My Home Has Wheels would love to visit your church or event. Missions Month, Sanctity of Life Sunday, Back to School Rally, Homeless Awareness, are just some of the events we’ve attended.
Schedule this unforgettable interactive experience.
See the work we’re doing and learn how to get involved.