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 Sandy Lewis and Linda Witmer share their vision for how churches could respond to women and children facing homelessness.  The group listened as three women who were homeless shared their personal 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.

Today,  23 Bridge of Hope locations are active in 14 states across the country.  After 30 years and national growth, Bridge of Hope’s mission distinctive remains the same: engaging Christian faith communities in ending and preventing family homelessness through neighboring relationships that demonstrate Christ’s love.