Crossing Bridges: An Outreach Community

A few years ago, at brunch with friends, my husband and I raised the question, “If you could throw a bunch of money at a problem, what would you fix?”

Answers varied: cancer, education, healthcare… and conversation flowed around the topics, what would we change, how would we do it, what challenges would we face… then one idea took hold of the whole table.

Homelessness. We would fix, cure, and solve homelessness.

After parting ways with our friends, James and I couldn’t stop talking about the concept of eradicating homelessness. Was it even possible? How could we do it?

The easy first answer is give everyone a home. And since we first started talking about this, I have read numerous articles and studies showing that, in fact, providing a place for the homeless to stay is, in fact, the best way to solve a very expensive problem.

But for us, we wanted to do more than just provide people with a place to stay.

We want to provide people with a community, a place they can safely leave their belongings, a place they can feel safe sleeping: a place they can actually call home.

We envision a large piece of land, with dorms, cabins, and a central community center (basically college meets summer camp). Families would be able to stay together, people would have an address to list so they could get a license, apply for jobs, register for classes. They’d have regular access to showers, women wouldn’t have to worry about getting pads and tampons every month.

Everyone would have access to job training if they wanted it, day care and transportation to school and work would be provided.

Basically three rules: nothing illegal, no violence, and help out when you can.

Most people who are homeless just need a hand, a safe place to be while they get their footing back. The end goal for each person is that they find their way back home.

I was thinking about this one day while watching my son play with a train set, that this could be a bridge back for so many people, and I was put in mind of a song my husband wrote, and so “Crossing Bridges” was born.

We’re still in the planning stages, there’s a lot to take into consideration with getting something like this up and running, but it is definitely a huge dream of mine to make this happen.

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