Greetings to all Bridges supporters,
Most of you are aware of the support programs that Bridges provides such as Project Connect in Newark and our efforts to stem the homeless population there, and the recent Back-to-School day here in Summit where hundreds of school supplies were provided to families in need. And of course the street outreaches, or “Runs” that go out weekly to New York City, Newark and Irvington. The Run to Newark last week served over 120 people. The volunteers that come out every week to help us are incredible people indeed.
The reason for my writing to you today is to talk about the services we provide here in Summit every Friday.
Prior to the pandemic we had been opening our doors every Friday at 120 Morris Avenue to about 25 neighbors in need. Most of them are regulars that come to us every week. Some have housing and some do not. We welcome them to come in and take a shower, get a change of clothes, receive a lunch, and personal hygiene items. We know their names and listen to their stories of how they came to us, if they are willing to share.
On March 13th we made the hard choice to pause our shower service for the health and safety of our clients, volunteers, and staff. For six weeks we limited Friday services to lunches, toiletries, and clothing only. In early May we came up with a shower by appointment system, allowing the opportunity to shower while reducing the number of people in the building. We remain available every Friday for food and clothing, masked and social distanced.
We are currently making efforts to get to know them better and identify their personal needs. The goal is that one day soon they will not need to come here to shower, but just stop by to say hello. Our friends live amongst us in our community and they are as much a part of Summit as anyone.
I am proud to both support and befriend our neighbors in need. Thank you for reading and for supporting our community.