Is your church ready to walk alongside and mentor a family?
One Church One Family
Church teams provide emotional support by serving as loving friends to the family as they move through the program. These volunteers act as mentors and role models to the family. They help move the family into their apartment, attend the B2H dinners, provide transportation to worship at your church, and take them on periodic fun outings. If you are interested in learning more, please contact us for additional information.
We are always looking for more partners in this labor of love. Help us spread the word. The Harvest is plenty and the laborers are few.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is your ministry model?
The Bridge to Hope (B2H) seeks to help to end homelessness for single mothers and their children by partnering with local churches in the task. The B2H is a three-way partnership between trained staff, one homeless, single mother and her children, and a trained, church-based mentoring group of 8 to 12 mentors from a local Christian faith community. Through use of this model, B2H seeks to promote physical, emotional, social and spiritual wholeness.
What is expected of the partnering Church?
The role of the partnering church is to create a support system for the family that goes beyond the working relationship that the B2H staff can offer. The church disciples their B2H family, socializes with them, learns who they are beyond being homeless and are examples of how to live successful godly lives. One of the most detrimental aspects of poverty and homelessness is the negative environment brought about by such conditions. Families coming from that background need to lifted out of that atmosphere and surrounded by positivity and the endless possibilities that come with faith and hope. This is what a partnering church is best equipped to do.
What kind of things do you need a church volunteer to do?
Church volunteers are essential to The Bridge to Hope ministry! Without them there would be no ministry. As each team and its members mentors its family by loving on them, ministering to them, demonstrating Christ to them their family begins to grow in hope, vision, and confidence that with the help of the church and its members wholeness can become theirs. That is our goal is to assist a mother in overcoming homelessness to wholeness. There are many areas to ‘serve and support’. Since currently we have one full time and one part time staff, volunteers are also needed in every facet of providing services to our mothers and their children. For example, we have a program working with our children in our ‘Child Enrichment Ministry’ providing care and love to children that have experienced homelessness. Additionally, we have countless behind the scenes help including, but not limited to, sorting donations for our Bridge Boutique, organizing or participating in work days conducting evening Life skills programming or assisting at the office with marketing and other like volunteerisms.
What does being on a church team require?
You do not need a formal education for this, what you do need is compassion, the belief that people can grow and transform, and a heart; our Lord called us to support one another. Simply put, it is being a team of mentors for a needing mother and her children. Apart from having a heart of compassion, a mentor is adaptable whatever the situation, is available whenever needs arise, patient even when the mother or her children are being difficult, and loving with Christ’s love.
More specifically, when a family is selected for your team, you as a team have an opportunity to move your family into The Bridge to Hope. B2H provides an apartment. The team has access prior to the family moving in. The team is given an opportunity to make it into a home, not just an apartment. This will include picking up any furniture being donated by any other members of your church and bringing it to the apartment. The team provides, if possible, all the staple furnishings, household items and items that make it feel like home. Some teams stock their new B2H family’s cabinets with staple groceries. This is very nice, but not required. This is all done prior to the family moving in.
This is a very important time for everyone on the mentoring church team to be present. The family is usually so overwhelmed by the outpouring of love that they bond very rapidly with anyone present that day. So even if you can’t carry heavy furniture, you can still be on hand to put dishes in cabinets, or watch the children. Your presence will be appreciated. And many hands make light work.
Church Attendance Requirements
What makes The Bridge to Hope unique in nurturing a family out of homelessness is our foundation in Christ. Sundays, each team has a unique opportunity to spend extra time with their mother. B2H looks to the church team to provide weekly transportation to worship at their church. At church, members of the team sit with the mother to give her encouragement and a model in learning how to genuinely worship.
The team needs to coordinate all this together so that each team member will have opportunity to develop a positive personal relationship with the mother and her children.
Bridge 2 Hope Dinner Requirements
All support team members are encouraged to attend the B2H Dinners as often as possible, but your team is required to have at least one volunteer mentor in attendance at every dinner. B2H dinners are held at the Bethany Bible Church, 6060 N. 7th Avenue on the 1st Thursday of each month and 3rd Tuesday in your B2H family’s home. It is your team’s responsibility to be sure your B2H family has a ride to the dinner.
Other opportunities to volunteer with The Bridge to Hope
Other ways of volunteering may include babysitting, calling the family to keep in touch, sending them notes of encouragement, helping with transportation and, most importantly, praying with and for them.
Who qualifies to be a B2H mom?
Often our mothers come to us from local family or Domestic Violence shelter or treatment centers. They are women who have limited job skills, if any, and families that may have lived in poverty their entire lives. They are mothers attempting to hide from the pain they see in their children’s eyes by masking the world with drugs and alcohol. They are women that are fleeing from an abusive environment trying to reclaim their lives and their dignity. They are people that are being released from our correctional institutions, for whom society often has little compassion. They are the mothers who come to The Bridge to Hope looking for help and hope.
Families coming to B2H must consist of a single mother with one to four children under the age of 10. However, we find the most success with a mother with no more than two young children. The mother must be willing to work cooperatively with church mentors/volunteers and Bridge staff and be an ‘open book’. Each mother must also be willing to attend church with her mentoring church team. Other vital qualities are that the mother should have a teachable spirit, be willing to implement a personal recovery program, and maintain good hygiene both personally and with her children and home.
Mothers must maintain sobriety in both drugs and alcohol or any addictive substance, as B2H conducts random drug tests of all participating families.
We ask each family to do their part in keeping the community safe. If a family has experienced domestic violence, they are asked to not reveal the location of The Bridge to Hope to their abuser or allow their abuser anywhere on the property.
Each mother must be willing and able to work and to have her children day care. Families must make changes in their lives, with the goal of being self-sustaining and off all government assistance.
How long can a mom stay in the program?
The Bridge to Hope permits a mother and her children to reside in our ministry for up to 24 months. We see the ministry as two facets. The first year is about filling the tool box. Allowing them to learn and grow. There are reasons that hinder a mother from stability. Sometimes these reasons are hidden and hurtful. We offer the opportunity to level the field through gaining their education either with GED or Vocational Training along with life skills programming. The second year is about applying these skills through employment and creating a future free from homelessness and addictions.
How do you find the moms in your program?
The Bridge to Hope is a resource for local churches, family and domestic violence shelters and treatment facilities. We also are known by many DCS workers and Family Support Agencies who refer their mothers to The Bridge to Hope. Often these entities will provide our contact information to a mother in need. Mothers may be a self-referral as well. They may find us on the internet or by word of mouth.
Do you accept moms with children of any age?
Our ministry currently does not offer an after school program Our ministry is designed to serve mothers with young children. Our heart is to not have a latch-key kid. Daycares permit children up to their 12 years old. Since we are a 2 year program, we accept children 10 years and younger. This way they can receive care by a licensed provider during the day.
Is there a limit to the number of children they have?
Church transportation often is the deciding factor on how many children a mother can have and still enter the program. Most volunteers can only fit 2 children, with 3 in a squeeze, into their car along with the mother. Additionally, we have found that mothers with 2 children or less are more successful in moving out of homelessness.
What qualifies a mother to be considered a “Bridge Graduate”?
- They will be self supporting
- They will be off any direct government assistance
- They will be employed full time
- They will have a savings account of $1,000 or more
- Their credit will be in good standing — they will have cleared all debts or will be making regular payments to do so
- They need to understand their cycles and patterns related to their homelessness
- They will maintain their sobriety
- They will have known their worth in Christ Jesus
You said only 20% graduate but 53% I believe get jobs and go on with their lives. Why the difference?
Some mothers become employed, but they do not make the lifestyle change necessary to maintain stability. Employment will not ensure a mother’s ability to provide stable housing. It takes a commitment to learning financial literacy, the ability to eliminate risky behavior including drug use and dependence on unhealthy relationships. A mother sometimes becomes employed and chooses to leave prior to graduating or will find employment. Others will move in with a man or return to drugs or just simply stop working “the program” of The Bridge to Hope. In these cases, she will not be counted as a graduate.
What happened with the other 47%? Did they all just drop out? If so why?
It is a reality mothers who enter The Bridge to Hope may choose to leave prior to graduating. Our first mother who entered The Bridge to Hope chose to move her and her young son in with a man she met at her GED program. The Bridge to Hope is a rigorous program. Some mothers simply give up on what it takes to exit homelessness. Often once they are employed they feel they no longer need the guidance or program.
Why don’t you expand your program and serve more mothers?
The Bridge to Hope is committed to only accepting a homeless single mother when we have a sponsoring church team to provide the mentors and support necessary to enable each mother overcome homelessness. We will not take in a mother if there is not a church or an adequate team to effectively minister to her and her family.
Can we take women without church involvement?
We believe that without church involvement the mother essential. Therefore we have to insist on church involvement.
If they can take a bus or other public transportation to look for a job or go to school, why can't they do the same for church attendance?
The mother needs to feel more connected with both her team and the church. Even travel time is a good opportunity to share. In our community, we have a church on almost every block. Why are homeless single mothers not entering? One reason maybe they do not feel a part of the community. With a mentoring church team taking their Bridge family to church, they have that relationship, that connection.
I was bound by bad relationships and drugs. God brought me to the Bridge and gave me my church team to show me love. They saved my family.Melissa
I cannot express in words what my church team means to me. They have welcomed me into their church and surrounded me with love. The Bridge will always be a part of my life, because they have given me hope, something I never had.Jennifer
What a joy to see the next generation, not living in homelessness, or even remembering being homeless…Or with parents in their addictions, but growing up in the knowledge of God’s love and guidance in their lives. When a mom comes to B2H, she brings the next generation with her. The hopelessness, helplessness and addictions have stopped and her children learn to trust and be part of that adoptive family forever. God’s adopted family.Evogene, A B2H mentor
Current Church Partners
We are always looking for more partners in this labor of love. If you are a member of a church community that is not listed below, please use the contact form at the bottom of the page to speak with someone from The Bridge to Hope directly. Help us spread the word. The Harvest is plenty and the laborers are few.
Are you a member of one of these church communities?
Interested in joining the existing mentoring team? Call the church office and ask to speak with the team coordinator today!
Apollo Baptist Church is currently in the midst of forming a team, contact Gwen Crotts if you are interested in being on the team!
Bethany Bible Church – Ask for Evogene
Faith Bible Church – Ask for Joe
First Southern Baptist Church of Scottsdale – Ask for Sallie
Scottsdale Bible Church – Ask for Eliza
Bridge to Hope
Bridge to Hope
1815 W. Missouri Ave #105
Get In Touch
The Bridge to Hope, Inc.
A Transformational Housing Ministry for homeless single mothers.
Address: 1815 W. Missouri Ave #105
Phoenix, Arizona 85032
Phone: 602.589.5556 (Phone & Fax)
Business Hours: 8:30a-3:00p M-F, or by Apointment