Bridges is proud of its 25-year history addressing homelessness in Howard County.
Community Response Phase: Early 1990s
- The original corporate name was Churches Concerned for the Homeless.
- Founded by people of faith to respond to the emergence of homelessness in Howard County.
- Board, staff and funding came from several member congregations.
- Program focused on transitional housing with case management.
Transitional Housing Agency: Mid 1990s to 2008
- Name changed to Congregations Concerned for the Homeless (CCH), to reflect a more diverse faith partnership.
- Housing units acquired with government loans and grants.
- Funding diversified to include private, foundations, and government.
- Operating 21 units of transitional housing by 2007.
New Paradigm for Addressing Homelessness: 2009 and forward
- Re-named Bridges to Housing Stability to focus on solutions and expand programming.
- Incorporated new, evidence-based national paradigm “Communities solve homelessness with coordinated services and permanent housing.”
- Helped establish the Howard County Plan to End Homelessness (PEH), adopted in 2010.
- Aligned programming to PEH goals of:
- Coordinated System of Homeless Services
- Permanent affordable housing solutions to
- End chronic homelessness
- Prevent family homelessnes
Advocacy Role: 2010 and forward
- Based on 20+ years with homeless families, Bridges identified link between shortage of affordable housing and homelessness among low-wage workers.
- Leading others to create housing units that are affordable to low-wage workers.
- Joining with others to influence housing policy.
Affordable Housing Provider: 2013 and forward
- Launched Bridges Alliance, an income-based housing program featuring Circles of Support.
- Renovated Bridges housing units.
- Partnered with Howard County Housing Commission and adopted its acquisition-rehab model.
- Demonstrated that Circles of Support reinforce family stability.
- Created campaign of “100 Homes for 100 Households.”