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The mission of Bridge of Hope Burlington County is to end and prevent homelessness for women and children with the help of trained mentoring groups within congregations. Single mothers achieve permanent housing and financial self-sufficiency through employment and attain stability and enhanced self-esteem through ongoing mentoring friendships. Our goal is to exemplify Christ's love and to promote physical, emotional, social, and spiritual wholeness.
Bridge of Hope Burlington County strives to break the cycle of homelessness by offering homeless families the opportunity to secure permanent housing, become financially self-sufficient and meet their physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs.
Homeless or at-risk families (typically referred to as program participants or participants) are "matched" with a mentoring group from a local Christian church. Mentoring groups are composed of eight (8) to twelve (12) persons and are the crucial component of Bridge of Hope Burlington County. These groups provide program participants with friendship, nurture, and acceptance. Housing is located in the vicinity of the mentoring group members with Bridge of Hope Burlington County providing the security deposit. Rental assistance is provided by Bridge of Hope Burlington County on a decreasing scale for typically up to twelve (12) months, based on the job training program the family is enrolled in. Concurrently, each program participant develops and follows a personalized budget with Bridge of Hope Burlington County staff to guide them towards financial self-sufficiency.
Additionally, Bridge of Hope Burlington County coordinates service planning. A service contract is signed by the family and Bridge of Hope Burlington County outlining the basic rules of the program. An individualized service agreement is also developed with the participant and mentoring group, identifying goals and action steps in areas such as employment, finances, life skills, and personal growth. As needed, connections are made with community resources for job-training, counseling, etc. Bridge of Hope Burlington County staff meets with the program participant and the mentoring group on a regular basis to evaluate the participant's status and progress in relation to the service contract and service agreement.
Bridge of Hope Burlington County maintains a service contract and service agreement with a participating family for a period of 12 to 18 months. After completion of the program, the relationships formed with the mentors will offer ongoing support and friendship to the participating family.
- Phyllis Knighten
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