A Church-Based Approach to Ending Family Homelessness

Sarah’s Story


Web-31Sarah’s daily work commute was four hours. The $8/hour that she earned as a residential aide did not cover her gas, insurance, rent, and child care expenses of $1,600+/ month. And, she had little time to spend with her sons.

Sarah had not been able to make time to study for and pass the medical assistant certificate test.

Her time with Bridge of Hope Harrisburg Area (PA), which included temporary rental assistance, allowed Sarah to study (with help from her Bridge of Hope mentoring friends) and receive her medical assistant certification. This led to a higher paying job, and Sarah excelled at the budgeting skills she learned from her Bridge of Hope case manager.

Sarah’s new job is closer to home, and she has more time with her sons!

Web-10In this video, Denise shares about why she was a mentoring friend for Sarah and her sons – and how it was a blessing to her after the disappointment of not being able to adopt a second child.

Census data shows that roughly 40 percent of single-mother-headed families are poor. Education and professional certification can help moms to attain a higher-paying career.

The Sarah’s Story video explains: “Bridge of Hope is about reminding moms what their dreams were and then being there to support them while they work toward those goals.”

Since 1989, the Bridge of Hope model has ended and prevented homelessness for single mothers and their children. Bridge of Hope is a three-way partnership between a single mother, a social worker, and mentors from a local church who are trained to provide tangible supports and social capital.

Women graduate from Bridge of Hope having attained permanent rental housing, financial stability through employment and budgeting, and a network of support.

Bridge of Hope National has 21 locations in 12 states and Canada. Bridge of Hope @ Lutheran Services Carolinas served a family in partnership with Uptown Church (in Charlotte). They and Bridge of Hope @ Samaritas – Westland (in Detroit, MI) hope to serve additional Bridge of Hope families in the future.

For information about becoming a Bridge of Hope Program Site, contact Director of Outreach, Anne Dunnenberger. 866-670-HOPE ext. 1008