North Central Iowa

A Church-Based Approach to Ending Family Homelessness

Category Archives: NEWS

Recent Graduate

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Bridge of Hope, North Central Iowa is excited to announce the graduation of our first participant to complete the program under our affiliate location in Hampton. Ann came to Bridge of Hope with the dream of “having a nice home and car and being able to provide for my kids the way I should be.” She said “I have no family here” and “it’s basically me against the world.” She expressed frustration and a sense of depression in trying to meet life’s demands, but she was also determined. She worked with Bridge of Hope to set goals that included building a support system of friends, overcoming transportation barriers, financial budgeting, obtaining a GED, and a hope to eventually attend college.

Bridge of Hope focuses on fifteen individual components of measurement in the realms of financial stability, housing, life-changing friendships, and holistic living. Upon acceptance into the Bridge of Hope program, Ann was measured to be “at-risk” or “in-crisis” in ten of the fifteen measurements. Today, as Ann graduates the program, she is measured as “safe, stable or thriving” in fourteen of those measurements.

Bridge of Hope partners each participant with a mentoring group from a local church to build long-term supportive friendships. Ann’s mentoring group is from First Grace Baptist Church of Sheffield. These mentors have contributed to being supports for Ann, but more importantly, some lifelong relationships have been started.

While in Bridge of Hope, Ann was able to secure safe and secure housing, improve her employment and income, gain better transportation, obtain a GED, and build life-changing friendships. At Ann’s graduation celebration, she announced she has enrolled in college to begin this fall. We are so very proud of her!

Bridge of Hope is a not for profit organization that provides a family with empowerment based life skills training and case management services, as well as temporary rental assistance on a decreasing basis. The family is then matched with a mentoring group trained to provide helpful, ongoing support. The unique result offers families an effective way to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness by creating a secure home and a community of supportive friends. Bridge of Hope’s message is that a lifelong difference can be made for these families by combining the efforts of volunteer, church-based mentoring groups with outcome driven services provided by professional staff. Through a simple, yet powerful, planned ministry of friendship, church groups can be helped to reach those in their own community who are hurting. Funded entirely through donations from individuals, churches, businesses and local foundations, Bridge of Hope is a cost effective approach to ending and preventing homelessness for single women and their children. For additional information please call 641,456-8644.

 

**name of participant has been changed to protect her privacy.

 

Bridge of Hope in the news!

Mentor: Megan Rosenberg featured in Globe Gazette!

Read what she has to say about the Bridge of Hope.

The Globe Gazette features our own Megan Rosenberg in their 20 under 40 special issue.

The Globe Gazette features our own Megan Rosenberg in their 20 under 40 special issue.

Welcome Katy Thoreson, our new director!

Please welcome the new director for Bridge of Hope North Central Iowa,  Katy Thoreson.  She is the social worker who is directly in charge of working with the single moms and families in our program.  Katy is a recent graduate of Buena Vista College.  She also works as a Court Appointed Special Advocate and was awarded CASA of the Year in 2012.  She has volunteered for the North Iowa Child Abuse council and worked for I.C. Systems in Mason City in the past.  Katy is herself a single mom and is excited to be able to work to help others find their way through the challenges that come with that. Welcome, Katy!

How it all began

In late 2008, a group of people gathered in a Hampton bank basement to hear from presenters from Bridge of Hope National talk about ways they have met the needs of single moms and their families.  After that, a group of local people who felt God calling them to this ministry began a start up committee.  This committee was organized, conducted a local needs assessment and determined that a Bridge of Hope affiliate was needed right here in Franklin County.

A covenant was signed and our non-profit status was established in September of 2009.   Interested volunteers formed the first board of directors and chose a volunteer director, Kim Hanson, in order to immediately begin serving participants.  The Church of the Living Word donated an office space and the ministry began.

In September 2010, the board was able to hire Meghan Freie for ten hours per week to serve as our first Family Resource Coordinator. The organization has been blessed with generous donors and prayer warriors who have kept the mission moving forward.  In 2012, the board decided to step out in faith and hire a director for twenty hours a week so the ministry can continue to grow.  The board covets continued support and prayer partnership for this important cause.