Bridge Over Troubled Waters (Bridge) is Boston’s premier organization dedicated to transforming the lives of runaway, homeless, and high-risk youth through safe, supportive, and encouraging relationships and effective and innovative services that guide them toward self-sufficiency.
Bridge began in 1970 with a small but energetic group of staff and volunteers, who offered free and confidential services to homeless young people on the streets of Boston. Bridge’s free Mobile Medical Van and Street Outreach Program soon became national models. In 1982, Bridge became one of only nine service agencies in the nation to offer transitional living to its clients, providing support and housing for youth who were working on completing their education, building job skills, and saving money for the future. In 1996, Bridge developed the Transitional Day Program—a safe and clean setting where homeless young people can get a hot meal, take a shower, access lockers, do their laundry, and participate in life-skills workshops. In July 2011, Bridge opened Boston’s only Emergency Youth Shelter, allowing Bridge to take youth directly off the streets and provide them with a continuum of services that will guide them into independence. In February 2012, Bridge expanded its Transitional Day Program to 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to include weekends and an evening Warming Center.
Of the young people who seek help at Bridge, 100 percent live at the poverty level. They are likely to be struggling with any number of serious issues: court involvement, gang involvement, domestic violence, addiction, pregnancy, mental-health issues, school failure, significant learning disabilities, trauma histories, sexual exploitation, discrimination based on sexual orientation, or aging out of foster care. Bridge offers a safe and supportive environment in which these troubled youth can find out who they are and where they want to be. Then Bridge helps them get there.
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