Thank you Xcel Energy for the fall clean up at Rita’s House!
The Bridge for Youth was excited to participate in the 2020 Xcel Energy Day of Service. Thank you Xcel Energy volunteers who lent a hand and helped get Rita’s House ready for the fall. The Bridge is always looking for volunteer groups to work on a wide variety of projects. To learn more contact Sagal Hussein.
Welcome La’Kisha Hollmon-Griffin!
The Bridge is excited to welcome La’Kisha Hollmon-Griffin as Program Director. Born and raised in south Minneapolis, La’Kisha has 20+ years of experience providing supportive services to youth and families in the Twin Cities metro. Most recently, La’Kisha was Program Coordinator for the Girls Resolution and Prevention (RAP) program at the YWCA. She has also been a foster parent in Hennepin County, worked for Minneapolis Public Schools, and has volunteered for several community service agencies. Welcome La’Kisha!
Youth Mental Health and School Update!
As schools reopen, addressing COVID-19-related trauma and mental health needs remains a priority for The Bridge. Youth at The Bridge have returned to school in person or via distance learning. While the challenges that homeless youth face are daunting, there are many strategies that anyone can use to help support mental health and address trauma during school this year:
Have sensory items to engage with while learning (stress balls, fidgets, kinetic sand, etc.)
Body check-ins (a good acronym for this is HALT – am I Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired?)
Create a de-stress playlist
Rewards for completing tasks
Deep breathing/meditation breaks (2 minutes x 3 times a day), this could also be daydreaming breaks (daydreaming stimulates memory recall).
Setting timers/reminders on computer or phones – timers help monitor time spent on assignments and activities
Daily positive affirmations/gratitudes – little notes written to oneself or from a caregiver can help motivate a student feeling frustrated with school work
Finding time for hobbies, sports, creative outlets (artwork, crafts, drawing, music)
Socialization is very important, especially for virtual learners. Adults and their children are all feeling the strain of being isolated, finding ways to encourage youth to “see” their friends via zoom or virtual play dates can be very helpful.
List above provided by Amanda T. (Therapist at The Bridge).
Faces of 50 Call for Submissions!
Do you have a story to share? We want to hear from you! We are currently looking for people who have a connection to the The Bridge who are willing to share a brief clip for our December Faces of 50 video. If you would like to participate, please send in a 20 second video telling us who you are, what your connection is to The Bridge, and ending with you saying "I am a Face of 50". Email Sagal Hussein if you have any questions.
2020 marks the 50th anniversary of The Bridge for Youth!
To celebrate this anniversary, every month throughout the year we will highlight Faces of 50, recognizing some of the thousands of individuals who were impacted by The Bridge and who have contributed to our efforts to serve homeless and runaway youth.
This month Faces of 50 features Starbucks Coffee Company. Starbucks District Managers Jodi Zeller and Ron Jarvi share their volunteer experience and engagement with The Bridge! As volunteers they have put together cribs for Marlene’s Place, facilitated mock job interviews, and participated in Tacos & Trivia Night. Volunteers are an important part of our programming, connecting with youth and having fun too! We are grateful for Starbucks Coffee Company volunteers and The Starbucks Foundation for their support of The Bridge.
We’re excited for our garden renovation and makeover! Thank you YardBird for working to renew and beautify our space! Thank you and appreciation also to our wonderful volunteers from Saint Paul’s Church on Lake of the Isles for their help in creating, nurturing, and harvesting a vegetable garden at The Bridge.
Your Gift Makes a Difference!
Thanks to the generosity of our donors, The Bridge for Youth impacts the lives of thousands of youth and families. If you would like to make a financial contribution to The Bridge for Youth please visit our website or hit the ‘donate today’ button below. You can also donate directly to our latest program, Gloria’s Place, and help us create a warm and welcoming place for homeless youth and their children!