“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” Matthew 25:35
Dear Members of the Congregation:
The Outreach Ministry has determined this year to grant our Special Advent Offering to Bridge Over Troubled Waters, Boston’s foremost agency providing life-changing services for homeless, runaway and at-risk youth, ages 14to 24, in a positive and safe environment. The agency helps youth avoid a lifetime of dependency on social services, guides them toward self-sufficiency, and enables them to build fulfilling meaningful futures.
In the late 1960s a small but energetic group of staff and volunteers began offering free and confidential services to disaffected, homeless young people on the streets of Boston and Cambridge. The initial providing of basic needs turned into supportive counseling, referrals to health care, psychiatric services and planning for alternatives such as a way back home, if possible. In the early 1970s, Bridge Over Troubled Waters was formed as a non-profit corporation, organizing a volunteer-run, mobile medical van to bring emergency and preventive health care to the streets, a program that became a national model. By 1982, Bridge became one of only nine service agencies in the nation to offer transitional living residences to its clients and by 2011, it was Boston’s only emergency youth shelter where youth could live for up to six months. A Transitional Residence in Brighton expanded in 2017 to provide 28 units of supportive housing for youth and single mothers experiencing homeless. The Warming Center now operates year-round as the Welcoming Center and provides overnight accommodations for youth experiencing homelessness. This past year Bridge purchased Liberty House, an apartment co-op that provides independent housing for young adults up to age 24. For more information go to www.bridgeotw.org.
After more than 40 years, Bridge Over Troubled Waters has become a national model and program incubator for youth development services which are effective in helping the most troubled and vulnerable homeless youth to turn their lives around. We hope you will consider giving generously to this wonderful organization!
The Outreach Ministry