Making Space for Housing and Healing
August 29, 2023
A message from the Board Chair and Chief Executive Officer
What happens when calls for help increase dramatically and the needs of families facing homelessness escalate in ways we haven’t witnessed in the past generation?
In the midst of significant need, God is making space for innovative thinking, new possibilities and increased generosity!
Your support has allowed Bridge of Hope to make space for housing and healing in deeper ways. Over the past three years, calls for help have increased by a shocking 284%. And you, as a giving community, have increased giving by almost 100%, allowing us to make space for nearly double the number of mothers and children, as our country faces a nation-wide housing crisis and high inflation.
For three years amidst the pandemic, Beth lived in a shelter. For the first time in her son’s young life, they were finally able to move to a home of their own. A shelter is not a home but that is where they lived for three years before and during the pandemic. Beth says she was in a “bad space” and the support of Bridge of Hope and her Neighboring Volunteers helped her “make space” for healing old wounds and starting anew.
For women receiving Bridge of Hope services, “bad spaces” can mean domestic violence and childhood abuse (experienced by 64%), struggles with mental health issues (49%) or a history of substance abuse (20%). Bridge of Hope offers space to make new choices, like a better paying job, furthering education, or a move to a new apartment.
Offering hopeful choices to families is one way to end homelessness. But it also requires societal change of systems that have trapped families in vicious cycles of unaffordable housing, a back-log in our mental health system and years of housing discrimination based on race.
Our 2023-26 “Making Space” Strategic Plan is committed to a multi-prong approach of finding new options for whole-family mental health support and venturing into new spaces of helping families attain permanent housing more quickly. New spaces like, property ownership (do you have a property to donate?), master leasing, encouraging ministry-minded community leaders to purchase and offer rental units at affordable rates to families we serve, and so much more.
Thank you for the powerful ways that you, our generous Bridge of Hope giving community, continues to make space for more families to experience housing and healing!
Bethany Shue Nussbaum Edith Yoder
Board Chair, 2022-2024 Chief Executive Officer