NCTV17 is a 501(c)3 nonprofit
February 28, 2022

Bridge Communities

The Bridge Communities’ mission is to transition families experiencing homelessness to self-sufficiency by providing mentoring support, holistic services, and stable housing. Bridge Communities is committed to providing unique lifetime opportunities to families experiencing homelessness by working alongside families to improve access to education and wage-earning opportunities, to strengthen financial literacy, and to coach families with valuable life skills.

Bridge Communities serves families with dependent children that are facing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless and live and work in DuPage County. These families have become homeless due to reasons such as divorce, domestic abuse, loss of employment, and health issues. In 2020, Bridge served a total of 110 homeless families, including 117 adults and 217 children.

Since 1988, the work and mission of Bridge Communities has focused on creating equitable opportunities for the families we serve so that they can all achieve self-sufficiency regardless of their original circumstances. Each family in the Bridge Communities Transitional Housing Program is paired with a Program Partner – a local community group or religious organization – which provides volunteer mentors and a portion of the funding to house the family in a Bridge apartment. For two years, each Bridge family receives:

• A safe, furnished apartment in a thriving DuPage County community
• A dedicated team of volunteer mentors that invests time and financial resources in the success of the family
• Weekly financial coaching/budgeting assistance and other life skills mentoring
• One-on-one career counseling and interview coaching, plus job readiness workshops and networking assistance
• Educational assessment and tutoring available for both children and adults
• Programming and enrichment activities specifically for children and youth
• Access to counseling and therapy services
• A nutrition program to strengthen healthy eating habits and how to shop on a budget
• A Case Manager to help support their individualized goal striving
• A car donation program for those who need transportation

Over the course of two years, client families develop a budget, track their expenses, and set financial goals. Clients also prepare for success in the workplace by building the skills and education necessary to secure a living wage job that will increase their earnings and benefits. Bridge creates a unique opportunity for families to eliminate debt and save for the future, thus allowing families to stabilize their housing and improve their financial and overall wellbeing. Job stability and the financial management skills learned in the Bridge program set the foundation for long-lasting economic independence.

Visit them online today to learn how you can volunteer, make a donation, or learn more about family homelessness.

Spotlight Guests

Amy Van Polen, Senior Director

More from Spotlight

Watch more interviews with local nonprofit organizations serving the Naperville area.

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