History

Children's Home Explanation - Somewhere safe you can stay.

Everyone should have a home children's drawing

Bridges is proud of its 27-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.”