One of the first opportunities that Bridge House offers its clients on the pathway to self-sufficiency is a free, healthy meal. Scott Medina, the director of the Community Table says “(Community Table) gives people a good, hot dinner before they’re sleeping out on the streets–it’s the fuel to keep people going so that they can function at a better capacity.”
This is the whole purpose of Bridge House: to be there for the clients and afford them the opportunities to be successful in getting back on their feet. The Community Table gives a hot, nutritious meal to those in need, no questions asked. Served Monday through Friday at 5pm, there are often over a hundred people that come to dine in the hour that dinner is served. The guests, their backgrounds and their circumstances are incredibly varied and this really highlights what Medina says is the biggest misconception about homelessness.
“Most people think that you can stereotype homelessness, but the reality is that homeless people are diverse, there are so many stories, homelessness is so complex.”
This is why Bridge House tackles homelessness from many different directions. At Bridge House we understand there is no single to solution to homelessness on an individual or a community level. We believe it is our role to provide an array of resources and opportunities to engage people and give them the tools to reach their highest-level of self-sufficiency.
The Community Table is supported almost entirely by donations from the Community Food Share, the Olive Garden, Hotel Boulderado’s catering services and other local people. The food is prepared by staff, volunteers and Ready to Work folks who create healthy, delicious meals using whatever food was donated, which is an interesting and creative challenge for Shari, Bridge House’s nutritionist. If you are one of the incredible volunteers that serves the meal to the guests at the Community Table, you often hear “That was so delicious!” as the guests leave to find shelter for the night, and it isn’t rare for a guest to tell you that they wouldn’t know what they would do if it weren’t for the Community Table or that the Community Table saved their life.
Many volunteers say that the best part of helping out there is seeing the guests well-fed and leaving full and satisfied. And really, the Community Table is as simple as that: giving a hot, healthy meal to anyone that may need it.