Two months ago, in October of this year, Bridge House unveiled our new Resource Center, which allowed us to grow and expand the services we offer as well as collaborate more effectively with other agencies. Located at the First Presbyterian Church Annex and open two days per week (Tuesdays and Wednesdays), the Resource Center allows Bridge House to provide more services to homeless adults in our community.
If you’ve ever been to Bridge House (and, by all means, if you’re interested, stop by and ask for a tour!), you know that there is limited space for case management and other service agencies to address the needs of our homeless clients. One of the best things about the new Resource Center is that it allows for a bigger space for Case Managers to offer much more comprehensive intake and assessment of clients to better address their needs.
The Resource Center also allows for more service agencies to deliver their services on site, so now clients have access to benefit specialists, employment specialists, mental health outreach, addiction recovery groups, and so much more. The Resource Center has essentially become a “one-stop shop” and makes basic services more accessible to the clients and leading them toward a greater level of stability.
In the two and a half months since its launch, the Bridge House Resource Center has seen 208 different people come in to seek services. Considering that the Resource Center is only open two days each week, that means that an average of over ten unique people per day. What this number tells us is that homelessness is not a choice and that Boulder’s homeless want to better their situation.
“In two months, we have seen people come into the resource center who have never accessed resources from Bridge House before,” says Isabel McDevitt, Bridge House’s Executive Director. “One client has been homeless in Boulder County since 1994 and hadn’t accessed services previously, but now, this new format is much more accessible and the space itself is more conducive to helping people get what they need. The numbers that we’re seeing are countering the misconception that homelessness is a lifestyle choice.”
By offering a number of different services in one convenient place, the Resource Center is just another opportunity that Bridge House gives its clients to help them move toward self-sufficiency. The best thing the people in the community can do to help the Resource Center and Bridge House as it continues to grow is by spreading the word about the work we are doing to engage people in pathways out of homelessness. If more people know about the opportunities that Bridge House offers, the more we can continue to help Boulder’s homeless and working poor.