BoH Presentation Stimulates Interest
Bridge of Hope is a ministry of support to families under the umbrella of Good Samaritan Services of Chester and Lancaster counties. Bridge of Hope is a 12-24 month program designed to assist families facing homelessness (typically women with children under 18) achieve family stability. They believe this includes safe and sustainable housing, strong and resilient families and supportive relationships with Neighboring Volunteers.
Sunday, July 28, Cheryl Miles, Director of Permanent Housing Services for Good Samaritan Services, visited and spoke briefly at the 9:00am service. After the service, she and two colleagues made a presentation to more than twenty parishioners. They described the full range of services that the organization provides, but focused on the work of Bridge of Hope.
In a typical Bridge of Hope model for family support, a church forms a small group that serves as a support group for a nearby family. Such a group plays a number of roles: mentoring in areas such as budgeting, finding employment or higher-paying employment, child care, spiritual development, and simply human contact and moral support. Usually, those on the team play various roles, and, although they coordinate as a team, much of the work is done individually. A few at the session had been with such a support group in the past and shared about the meaning such service brought to their own lives.
A short video gives examples of the work and service of these church support and mentoring groups:
See more detail on the Bridge of Hope website.
Another video describes the program from the point of view of a young, needy mother:
A few years ago, Good Samaritan had support groups involved with Bridge of Hope, but recently there has not been any involvement. (Missions still provides financial support for this important, local ministry). Jane Balsan, Missions Committee member, is working to revive interest and involvement. At the presentation, several expressed interest in forming a family support group, as well serving as individual mentors in areas of personal expertise, and even one person making their own large lawn available for outings and family events.
If you didn’t attend the meeting and are interested or just would like to learn more about opportunities with Bridge of Hope, check the website above, or contact Jane Balsan. It would be great to have a family support group organized by fall and the beginning of the school year.