BRIDGES is a 3-phase transitional, independent-living program providing housing, counseling, education, life-skills coaching and vocational preparation for 16 to 23 year olds brought in to WCH for a number of reasons, such as being "aged-out" of foster care, pregnancy, lacking coping skills or in need of a home and resources.
Transitional, Independent Living Program
On the streets or in unsafe living conditions, there is an at-risk population of young people in the Wichita community. No longer children and not quite adults, they lack housing and the ability to independently provide for themselves. They risk an existence of crime, substance abuse and exploitation. The BRIDGES program provides safe housing, while these youths continue their education and develop the skills they need to become self-sufficient adults, good parents and successful, independent members of the community.
The BRIDGES program is funded by Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, SRS, United Way and donors to provide services to homeless and runaway youth.
Who Should Apply
- Homeless and/or runaway adolescents ages 16 to 23
- Teen parents and their children
- Young people in need of housing because they are living in an unsafe environment
- Youth with no alternative living arrangements, who lack the skills
The BRIDGES Program Provides:
- Stable and safe living accommodations
- Services necessary to assist homeless youth in developing both skills and personal characteristics needed to live independently
- Education, information and counseling aimed at preventing, treating and reducing substance abuse among homeless youth
- Appropriate referrals and access to medical and mental health services
- Services and referrals necessary to prepare for and obtain employment
- Services and referrals necessary to prepare for and obtain secondary education and/or vocational training
- Youth with parenting education and access to parenting support services
- All BRIDGES youth have access to our professional BRIDGES staff 24/7
Phase I - Residential Center
Focuses on building a foundation for the youth by helping them complete high school or GED certification and teaching independent living skills, such as nutrition, cooking and budgeting. Youth receive all services from on-site staff and case managers.
Phase II - Semi-Independent Living
Advances to an independent setting, yet participants are still monitored 24/7 and continue to receive services from the on-site staff and case managers.
Phase III - Independent Living (With A Safety Net)
Youth live off-site and continue receiving case management and support services.