I am reaching out to share about the trip I took to New York City in October to represent the great work of you all here at The Bridge for Youth. The work of The Bridge’s outreach team is supported by the World Childhood Foundation (WCF), co-founded by Queen Silvia of Sweden and the Carlson Family Foundation here in Minnesota. Their mission is to end child sexual abuse and trafficking across the globe, and they have a US branch of the foundation.
As the Executive Director of The Bridge for Youth, a funded organization, I was invited to attend the WCF Gala in NYC as a guest. It was incredibly inspiring – and to be in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Silvia and Her Royal Highness Princess Madeleine was truly an experience I’ll never forget. This foundation’s global work is making a real difference. It’s an honor to be funded by World Childhood Foundation.
The trip as a whole to NYC was tremendously productive and insightful, full of new connections and ideas. I met with Safe Horizon’s Streetwork project staff Sebastien, Director, and Courtney, Grant Writer – we sat together and discussed our programs (very similiar!) and they gave me a tour. It reminded me of The Bridge – the programming, youth centeredness, vibe, the features of the space, even their brand! While I was there, I met their staff who designed/leads the financial empowerment program (a best practice model for NY), who is from south Minneapolis. Such a small world even in big NYC!
What was impactful about the visit is that Safe Horizon connected us to 5 members of DYCD NYC who are very interested in the YSNMN.org, a real-time shelter, housing, and resource availability platform that The Bridge developed and manages for the Youth Service Network (YSN) Minnesota. Our teams recently met virtually, and they gleaned our insight on replicating in NYC. The DYCD team expressed excitement about this tool’s potential for ending youth homelessness in NYC because of its proven success and impact for youth and partners here in Minnesota. We will continue to stay connected.
I also met with Nadia of the Ali Forney Center, an LGBTQ+ housing and advocacy program – a newish program with huge growth and impact! They used to be located just blocks from Safe Horizon, but recently moved to Times Square in a huge new building – it was fascinating to tour their space and see how they are utilizing it.
This was timely given The Bridge is actively seeking funding to expand our transitional living program and add new long-term supportive housing for young families to our portfolio. Nadia leads their national technical assistance program supporting other organizations in best practices working with youth who identify as LGBTQ+. What an organization!
Thank you for the opportunity to represent The Bridge for Youth in NYC and to make these valued connections with peer organizations across the country. If you are curious and want to learn more, please reach out to me at [email protected].
in BFY commUNITY,