Friends and supporters:
It’s hard to believe that a decade has already passed since the idea for The Bridge was born. When the Dallas City Council in November 2004 approved a plan to end long-term homelessness and build the first shelter facility owned by the city, it laid the groundwork for a special place that would become more than anyone at the time could have imagined.
Like most nonprofit endeavors, we faced a lot of challenges along the way, but thanks to support from people like you, we overcame those obstacles and created a model organization for homeless recovery, according to the State of Texas.
Such acclaim affirms our pioneering determination. We engage the overwhelming majority of adults experiencing homelessness in Dallas County. We provide emergency food and shelter to guests with basic needs and recovery services to guests who need assistance transitioning from crisis to stability, from shelters to housing.
Our mission requires us to be ambitious, even ridiculously so at times. We solve complex problems and create opportunities by collaborating and innovating. We do whatever is appropriate and necessary to address the needs of our community’s most impoverished residents.
The results of these driven activities are worth celebrating. Our outcomes have been trending upward since opening our doors in May 2008, particularly in the last few years. We experienced a whopping 82 percent increase since 2012 in the number of guests provided with mental illness and chemical dependency services. And, most important, we are finding more jobs and housing for guests than ever before.
These accomplishments have emboldened us to advocate for additional investments. I am proud to report that my diligent work with the Legislature has paid off significantly, with the Texas Department of State Health Services recently agreeing to provide us with up to $2.6 million annually through 2017.
These new funds will allow us to do more of what we are already doing well, along with expanding our services to include establishing unprecedented health care, supportive employment and supportive housing services for guests with long-term needs.
We are very excited about this opportunity and hope you are too, but we need your help to maximize this fantastic opportunity. Our ability to tap into the state funding depends completely on the success of our private fundraising. Simply put, one dollar raised privately for operations translates into a matching dollar from the state. In our ridiculously ambitious approach to our work, we don’t want to leave a single dollar on the table.
That is why it is even more important than ever for you to consider stretching with us in your giving this year and next. And why it is essential that you pass along the good news about what we are accomplishing at The Bridge and encourage your family, friends and co-workers to join us in our mission.
Thank you for your support and all you have done to help us achieve success beyond our wildest dreams. Let’s keep driving to address unmet needs and doing all we can to help people recover from extreme poverty. Together we can ensure that this year once again will be our most productive ever.
President & CEO