A Church-Based Approach to Ending Family Homelessness

Alumnae feedback about neighboring

Summary of Feedback from Bridge of Hope alumnae

Several Bridge of Hope locations questioned in their responses whether participating families would relate to or understand the Neighboring language, particularly if their experiences in geographic neighborhoods had been negative. In response, we conducted a survey of Bridge of Hope alumnae for whom we had email addresses available. The survey was emailed to approximately 115 alumnae, offering a gift card to those who responded, and asking three questions:

  • Do you like the term Neighboring to describe the variety of relationships you experienced in your mentoring group?
  • Is it more appealing to you than the term mentor/mentoring?
  • Does it inspire any negative thoughts or feelings for you? 

Fifteen alumnae (13%) responded within the 5-day response period from the following locations:

  • 1 from Bridge of Hope Berks County, PA
  • 1 from Bridge of Hope Centre County, PA
  • 1 from Bridge of Hope @ Hannah’s House, IN
  • 1 from Bridge of Hope Harrisburg Area, PA
  • 1 from Bridge of Hope @ Home Sweet Home Ministries, IL
  • 9 from Bridge of Hope Lancaster & Chester Counties, PA
  • 1 from Bridge of Hope NW New Jersey

14 of 15 respondents responded positively to all questions (93%). One alumna indicated that when she thinks of neighbors, she thinks geographically. None named negative experiences with neighbors as part of their frame of reference. The following are a few of the quotes that accompanied the responses:

  • It takes out any suggestion of a hierarchy between mentors/moms. They don’t need people “over” them telling them what to do. They need people walking a long side them holding them up as they go…
  • When I think of neighbor, I think of somebody that lives next to me. And basically, that is what mentoring is. Somebody who walks (lives) beside you!!
  • Neighboring sounds less intimidating…to me mentoring sounds like someone who would help a misbehaved child you know.
  • I love the term. Being a good neighbor to a neighbor in need is a great relationship between people. No longer strangers.
  • The term mentor did not bother me at all- I feel/felt very secure in my role in the church therefore that term did not negatively affect me at all! I can see, however, how someone else could possibly be slightly put off by it. Therefore I do love the term “neighboring” much better!
  • …it is appealing and makes me have happy good thoughts.