The 2022-2024 Strategic Direction for The Bridge for Youth includes a new mission, vision, and values centered in youth voice, racial justice, and equity.
All youth feel safe, accepted, and supported.
The Bridge for Youth centers youth voice, justice, and equity in all we do, and empowers youth experiencing homelessness through safe shelter, basic needs, and healthy relationships.
We give space for youth to make decisions on their own timeline in their own way.
Love and Caring
We believe in acceptance, empathy, and non-judgment.
We engage in intentional dialogue to understand each other’s truths.
We actively learn, grow, and change to align our actions in equity and justice.
We seek connection to amplify the voice of youth and each other.
We stand together for youth and for each other.
Minor aged youth who are runaway and/or experiencing homelessness (RHY) and identify as BIPOC, LGBTQ+ and / or pregnant and parenting is a core competency of The Bridge for Youth.
Goal: Youth Voice and Leadership is a Catalyst for Change to Disrupt and Prevent Homelessness
The Bridge for Youth will invest resources in developing a nationally reputable model of youth engagement, leadership, and changemaking alongside youth experiencing homelessness. By authentically engaging youth and centering their voices, their proposed solutions act as a catalyst for the necessary changes needed at The Bridge, across systems, and in the community.
Goal: Expand Options for Pregnant and Parenting Youth Experiencing Homelessness
The Bridge for Youth will work with community experts in housing and policy in a space of co-creation and imagination to develop a culturally responsive spectrum of services – from prevention to safe shelter to transitional living to permanent housing – for youth who are pregnant and parenting, including minor-age youth. This includes expanding Marlene’s Place and adding permanent supportive housing for pregnant and parenting youth to our portfolio.
Goal: Staff Are Representative, Skilled, Satisfied, and Supported
Liberation is love at The Bridge where all feel safe and are inspired to show up as their true and authentic selves free from conflict, judgement, harm, and oppression. The mission of The Bridge is achieved by co-creating a loving and supportive community where everyone can thrive and experience belonging.
Goal: Facilities and Infrastructure are Welcoming, Impactful, and Safe for Youth and Staff
From September 2021 – June 2022 youth and staff of The Bridge partnered with three 5th year architecture students from Dunwoody College and the Joy Collaborative in a research and design project to understand what is possible in our current facilities and reimagine their capabilities. Based on feedback from youth and staff and the input of our architecture team, the new design will be spacious and welcoming, trauma responsive, grounded in culture that represents our youth, centered in art of youth and community, and conducive to healing activities. We anticipate contracting with an architect in 2023 for final design, unveiling design and capital plans, and launching a campaign within the next 12 – 18 months.