When God leads, people respond.
Over and again, that’s the story of Bridge of Hope.
On March 2, 1987, 37 Christians gathered in a church basement in Coatesville, PA, to listen to three women who were homeless share their stories. The group represented a cross-section of churches but was united by a deep sense of Christ’s call to compassion for families facing homelessness. As they explored ways churches could make a real and lasting difference, God’s Spirit prompted 10 women and men to step forward.
The result was a unique ministry model: a three-way partnership among families facing homelessness, church-based Neighboring Volunteers trained to provide practical support and encouragement, and professional staff. Rather than offering short-term solutions, the Bridge of Hope Neighborhood of Support is designed to last 18 to 24 months to give families the time and opportunities necessary for long-term change.
In December 1989, the first single mother and her child were matched with a group of Neighboring Volunteers. Word about Bridge of Hope spread, and calls poured in from other communities wanting to implement the ministry model.