Bridge Over Troubled Waters Receives $200K to Expand Its Day Program for Homeless Youth

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The Highland Street Foundation and Kraft Family Foundation are collaborating on the grants to Bridge Over Troubled Waters for expansion of its day program that provides homeless and at-risk youth with hot meals, lockers, showers and laundry, and access to programs including life skills workshops and other educational opportunities.

We know that youth are not just experiencing homelessness on weekdays and Bridge needs to be open every day that youth need us. We are so grateful to Highland Street Foundation and Kraft Family Foundation for helping youth access these critical services and start on their path home every day.

Bridge Over Troubled Waters (Bridge) today announced that it has received $200,000 in grants from the Highland Street Foundation ($100,000) and the Kraft Family Foundation ($100,000) to expand its Transitional Day Program (TDP). The current program, which currently operates Monday through Friday from 9am-5pm, will extend to Saturdays and Sundays, beginning this winter. The TDP is a drop-in center located at Bridge’s downtown Boston location at 47 West Street. The TDP provides homeless and at-risk youth with hot meals, lockers, showers and laundry, and access to programs including life skills workshops and other educational opportunities.

“We know that youth are not just experiencing homelessness on weekdays and Bridge needs to be open every day that youth need us,” said Elisabeth Jackson, CEO of Bridge Over Troubled Waters. “Providing youth with a hot meal, warm shower and safe space is very important, but our TDP is much more than just a place to get basic necessities. It’s where youth take their first steps toward stability. It’s where youth begin to trust Bridge, work on their resumes and apply for jobs, navigate housing opportunities and so much more. We are so grateful to Highland Street Foundation and Kraft Family Foundation for helping youth access these critical services and start on their path home every day of the week.”

“Through its comprehensive programming, Bridge provides hope and stability to so many young people who have faced unthinkable challenges, and we are proud to partner with the Kraft Family to ensure those vital services are accessible 7 days a week,” said Blake Jordan, Executive Director, Highland Street Foundation.

”The Kraft Family Foundation is honored to partner with Bridge Over Troubled Waters and the Highland street Foundation to grow the Transitional Day Program,” said President of Kraft Family Philanthropies Josh Kraft. “The expansion of services into the weekends will help provide much needed additional support to many overlooked and underserved youth in the community and continue to administer the tools for wellbeing that are not readily available to all.”

The TDP is one of many programs of Bridge. For more than 50 years, Bridge has provided services to young people who have become homeless and who are at-risk for homelessness. Bridge’s key services include prevention and intervention programs, such as its Mobile Medical Van and Street Outreach programs, and its Safe Place sites; as well as self-sufficiency initiatives, including the TDP, and educational and career support programs. Bridge also provides housing access and stability services, including its innovative “Liberty House” co-op model.
The $200, 000 in grant awards from the Highland Street Foundation and Kraft Family Foundation are being announced during National Homeless Youth Awareness Month in November which highlights the issue of the growing problem of youth homelessness.

According to research conducted by the University of Chicago:

  • 1 in 13 youth between the ages of 13-25, estimated at more than 4 million, have experienced homelessness over a 12-month period
  • Black and African American youth have an 83 percent higher risk of becoming homeless
  • LGBTQ+ youth are 120 percent more likely to experience homelessness
  • 50 percent of youth who are homeless are unsheltered, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness
  • The prevalence of homelessness among people between the ages of 14 and 24 is growing, and many of the young people who become homeless are being both physically and sexually abused or exploited, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
  • Every year, Bridge provides services to 2,000 youth and between 70 and 80 percent of those youth have experienced trauma or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

A recent survey of youth in the Transitional Day Program shows:

  • 76 percent have experienced abuse during childhood
  • 65 percent have been violently robbed on the streets
  • 51 percent have witnessed domestic violence
  • 47 percent report severe to moderate depressive symptoms at intake
  • 59 percent have aged out of foster care
  • 51 percent are employed
  • 28 percent are in high school or working on their high school equivalency test

About Bridge Over Troubled Waters
Bridge Over Troubled Waters, founded in 1970, is the largest agency in Greater Boston providing a full continuum of care to homeless, runaway and at-risk youth. Each year, Bridge serves more than 2,000 youth through a comprehensive range of survival, health, educational, career and housing programs in order to encourage the formation of a healthy, productive and fulfilling adulthood. For more information, visit http://www.BridgeOTW.org

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Ann S Murphy
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