"Bridge Communities prepared me for a better life."
Before Beatrice and her five children entered the Bridge program, they were living in a homeless shelter after escaping a traumatic life of domestic abuse.
While Beatrice knew leaving was the right choice for her family’s safety, life in a shelter was very difficult and limiting. There were times Beatrice and her family weren’t allowed to leave their room, even to go to the kitchen to get her crying one-year-old a bottle of milk. She knew her family needed a space to call their own but finding one that would fit her and her five children felt almost impossible. When Beatrice felt most like giving up, some friends referred her to Bridge Communities.
After the application process, she was welcomed into the program. “When I entered the Bridge program, I was so happy. It was like entering a new world,” says Beatrice.
In the stability and safety of a Bridge apartment, and with the help of their mentors and case manager, Beatrice and her children were able to focus on what was important. Beatrice was able to take a new focus on her career and education. “Seeing how people care for one another at Bridge Communities gave me hope for my future,” says Beatrice. “It helped me to focus, get my GED, and go on to get my associate degree.” It also helped her discover her dream job of becoming a social worker.
She even noticed a difference in her children. “My mentors helped lead my children down the right path,” says Beatrice. They helped instill in them a love for reading and got them more invested in school.
“In the Bridge program, you are surrounded by people who care. My mentors gave me strength,” Beatrice says. “And having a case manager like Molly Howieson was like having gold in my hand. To this day, I take their impact wherever I go.”
Since leaving the Bridge program back in 2015, Beatrice and her family were able to find stable housing and put down roots in DuPage County. Her children are thriving and have really grown since their time in the program. They’ve also welcomed a sixth child to their family.
Beatrice is on track to receive her Bachelor of Social Work this spring, putting her goal of becoming a social worker within reach.
“The Bridge program had a big impact on my life, and I want to spread that kindness further,” Beatrice says. “No matter where God leads me, I want to go forward and be there for others.”
Beatrice is on track to earn her Bachelor of Social Work this year, putting her goal of becoming a social worker within reach. Her children are also pursuing higher education.