Programs & Services
Bridge is Boston’s foremost organization dedicated to transforming the lives of runaway, homeless, and high-risk youth through safe, supportive, and encouraging relationships and effective services guiding youth towards self-sufficiency.
Street Outreach is Bridge’s daily “foot patrol” of trained outreach workers who make regular, consistent contact with homeless youth on the streets throughout a range of neighborhoods in Boston and Cambridge where homeless youth are known to gather.
Mobile Medical Van
Our Mobile Medical Van, the first program of its kind in the nation, connects with the street outreach team each weeknight. The van is a national model for providing critical care: medical attention, survival kits, clothes, food, and referrals to in-depth, low-barrier, open-intake services at Bridge, and other agencies.
Bridge is the local respondent for the national runaway hotline offering 24-hour access to a counselor and safe overnight accommodations away from the streets for homeless youth ages 14-17 for up to 72 hours. Call 1-800-RUNAWAY if you need help.
Counseling & Support
Bridge’s licensed clinical counselors are trained and experienced in working specifically with homeless youth and utilize a variety of counseling methods tailored to each youth, including trauma-informed and positive youth development approaches. Counselors “meet youth where they’re at” during their initial intake and set up appointments for follow-up counseling sessions or provide referrals to Bridge’s in-house services or outside agencies.
Transitional Day and Welcome Center Programs
These are Bridge’s drop-in centers where homeless youth receive survival aid each day during the week. At the Welcome Center, youth can have a hot meal, take a shower, access lockers, and do their laundry. At the Transitional Day Program (TDP) youth can participate in life skills workshops, enjoy community meals, and connect with case managers to help them obtain critical documentation papers (identification cards, transcripts, CORI records, etc.).
Education and Career Development
Our Education and Career Development staff help youth earn their high school certificate, start college, learn job skills, and establish meaningful careers. We provide classes to prepare youth to earn their alternative high-school degree on a flexible schedule with small class sizes, and rolling admission that enables youth to enroll at any time. Our College Pathways provides guidance counseling to youth who wish to enter or continue college and may include financial aid incentives to help youth enter and stay in college or job training programs. Career Development staff offer Open Job Search hours and job training in soft skills.
This unique residential program is a short-term transitional residential program for homeless youth who are able to commit to intensive counseling, maintain employment, save 70% of their income, continue their education, and work with case managers to obtain long-term transitional or permanent housing. During the winter months (November – April), Bridge opens up the Welcome Center to youth who need overnight shelter and survival.
Transitional Living Program
The Transitional Living Program (TLP) is a long-term residential program for up to 12 young men and women, ages 18-24. Residents are required to maintain employment, continue their education, meet weekly with a Bridge counselor, and work with case managers on reaching their goals. Residents have access to all of the services at Bridge; and may stay in the TLP for up to two years.
About Successful Transitions to Adulthood Research Study (STARS):
A study funded by the federal government is being done to determine how the Bridge Over Troubled Waters TLP helps youth attain housing, education, and employment, and live independently. Youth who are eligible for the program and agree to participate in the study will be selected into the program based on a lottery.
Single Parent House
Our Single Parent House (SPH) is an open-intake, voluntary transitional living program for pregnant and parenting homeless young women and their children—the only one of its kind in the City of Boston. The SPH serves eleven families at any given time and they may stay for up to two years.
Bridge offers a variety of supportive services for youth seeking housing. Liberty House is the next step for young adults who have participated in our Transitional Living Program in Brighton.
Bridge also currently participates in the Rapid Re-housing program for youth based on the “housing first” model. This program with the City of Boston is another avenue to prioritize youth for housing.