North Central Iowa

A Church-Based Approach to Ending Family Homelessness

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.

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