A Year of Transition for Bridges
Bridges’ fiscal year 2023 just ended, and July has been a busy month of reports, reflection, and looking ahead. FY23 was a transition year for Bridges. We transitioned from pandemic protocols to a new “normal” — hybrid work with clients and co-workers. We also experienced several staff transitions that were difficult, but the changes brought great new staff members to our team.
FY23 was also a year of advocacy. The housing crisis and inflation have impacted our clients and our organization from all sides: increased rents, more evictions, and a tighter housing market that gives landlords leverage to demand even higher levels of income and creditworthiness from rental applicants. Our staff, board members, volunteers as well as many of our partner organizations have raised their voices to push for more affordable housing for our low- and moderate-income households.
I’ve never been prouder to be a part of Bridges. We helped hundreds of households over the past year, with almost a million dollars in aid given out to rehouse families and keep households stably housed. New donors came forward, and many of our existing donors increased their giving. Bridges also received awards and new grants that allow us to push forward with our equity work. We are so thankful for all of the wonderful supporters who care so much about Bridges and those we serve.
I ask that you also reflect on how you’ve been involved with Bridges over the past year and think of ways you can help in the year ahead. We welcome you in whatever way brings the most meaning to you. You do make a difference. Thank you.
Jen Broderick, LCSW
Staff Members Receive Training in “Mental Health First Aid”
Thank you to the Howard County Health Dept. for delivering two training sessions to Bridges staff members on “Mental Health First Aid.”
Like traditional first aid for physical health, this course equips individuals with the knowledge and skills they need to respond to mental health and substance-use challenges. Mental health first aiders play a vital role in connecting those in need with appropriate support and resources. They provide non-judgmental guidance and empower individuals to seek professional help when necessary. Prioritizing mental health education and training in communities, workplaces, and educational institutions equips more people to support others, leading to early intervention and improved well-being for all.
We’re so proud of our staff members who invested precious time to attend this training.
We were privileged to have Ethan Urbansky interning with us this year. He is training for a role in the medical field and is intensely interested in the relationship between housing and health.
Did you know …
- Mortality rates for people who are unsheltered are 3 times higher than for people in shelter, and 10 times higher than for the general population?
- Youth and young adults experience rates of death that are 8 to 11 times higher than for their counterparts who are housed?
You can read Ethan’s informative article here.
Volunteer Spotlight: Larry Carson
Larry Carson spent many years covering our area for the Baltimore Sun newspapers. For the past two years, in his retirement, he has volunteered for Bridges as the writer of our client success stories. He is inspired by the clients he interviews and is adept at bringing their struggles and strengths to light through his writing. Larry also volunteers with Neighbor Ride, A-OK Mentoring, and the Age-Friendly Howard task force. Larry likes to swim, read the paper, and bike with the Senior Bicycle Program. He enjoys being retired because he gets to pick and choose what he spends his time doing. We are so lucky to have Larry as a volunteer!
Sheehy Toyota Birdies for Bridges Golf Tournament
Our team has been hard at work getting ready for an unforgettable day of giving back at the 2023 Birdies for Bridges Golf Tournament. Join us on Sept. 22 at The Timbers at Troy Golf Course with your foursome to support our mission and create positive change in the community.
Secure a spot for your foursome, and find out more information about sponsorship opportunities, registration and the day’s schedule at www.birdease.com/bridges2hs.
We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the sponsors who have already partnered with us to make this event possible: Sheehy Toyota Laurel, Howard Hughes, Assured Partners, Dresner Group, Slack Funeral Home, APL Federal Credit Union, First Presbyterian Church of Howard County, TablesoccerUSA, Absolutely Perfect Catering and Events, Weinberg, Griffith, Tucker, Jones & Talesnik, P.A., and Team Kinnear.