Long-Term Solutions: Bridging the Homeless Back to Home

Big Change Advisors creates solutions that turn the way you do business today, into the growth, revenue, and opportunities of tomorrow. In serving the homeless, bridging the current state to the ideal one is just as important. At the Los Angeles Mission, they’re accomplishing this through the Bridge Program, one of the country’s best practices for connecting vulnerable people with the resources in their lives.

Building bridges

The Bridge Program is part of the Mission’s overall Fresh Start rehabilitation efforts to help people get off the streets and into gainful employment, housing, and society. The program involves a key factor in the recovery process: Reconnecting with family.

Reengaging Mission graduates with their loved ones provides a source of temporary housing. It also involves families in the healing process, shedding light on what their homeless family member is going through. At the same time, it lets graduates know they are not alone on their path to rebuild their lives.

Reaching root causes

The Bridge Program also helps address the root causes of homelessness that many people experience and that have compromised the support system people have in their families. These root causes can include:

  • Drug and alcohol addiction
  • Depression
  • Untreated mental illness
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Physical disabilities

Through the Los Angeles Mission, people can start identifying these issues and take active, meaningful steps to solve them. In doing so, they can take advantage of the Mission’s Career Services, which helps them learn life and professional skills, develop networking and interviewing skills, and find jobs.

Connecting people

The Bridge Program recognizes that the ability to find employment is a huge step for graduates, but it is just one step. The next step – successful reunification – is even more critical. Therefore; through the Bridge Program, graduates are supported in reconnecting with their families and restoring those relationships. Families are engaged in providing housing, sharing resources, or just giving encouragement

In my work as a Los Angeles Mission volunteer, I see first-hand how this family support can be a game changer. Graduates of the Fresh Start program who reengage with their families experience:

  • The comfort and safety of a place to stay – even if it’s temporary
  • Increased self-esteem and confidence
  • Greater sense of identity
  • More accountability
  • Greater success in ultimately thriving in society

Just like in business, the Bridge Program calls on collaboration, flexibility, and thinking outside the box. This is critical in addressing long-term solutions for homeless populations, especially when they are not only seeking care for themselves, but also their children.

This comprehensive approach is inherent in the Los Angeles Mission and why the Big Change Advisors business model is designed to support this work – driving big change for both business and people. As we pursue the possibilities of our own future, we can be the factor in someone else’s, getting them off the streets and reconnected to their families.

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