Volunteer mentors provide the caring and encouragement necessary to foster the personal and economic growth that client families need to achieve and sustain self-sufficiency.
Become a Mentor
Volunteer mentors have been the "heart" of Bridge Communities since its founding in 1988.
Mentors operate as members of a Bridge Communities' Program Partner group from their faith-based or community organization. We also have mentors that operate independent of Program Partners through our Direct Mentor Model.
Mentors are the primary contact in the client family's service team. This team is made up of the client family, volunteer mentors and professional case manager. Mentors typically work in a team of two or three volunteers.
Transitional Housing Mentors Help Families by:
- Participating in the initial Mentor Training sessions and ongoing educational opportunities sponsored by Bridge Communities.
- Collaborating with the Bridge Case Manager for ongoing assessment of family needs and progress.
- Providing hospitality and welcoming for client families new to the Program.
- Participating in the development of an individualized service plan that includes long and short term goals.
- Visiting weekly (or as needed) with the client family in their home. Provide skill development in budgeting assistance, savings planning, and general money management.
- Arranging assistance in applying for jobs, education/training programs, and other community supports.
- Providing companionship, listening and emotional support.
- Arranging parenting education or assistance.
- Providing guidance and sponsorship in scouting, library, park district, or other community-based recreational services.
- Arranging the connection with Program Partner support for furniture, child care, employment, transportation, home maintenance needs, etc.
- Maintaining strict confidentiality and dignity in service delivery.
If you are interested in mentoring a Bridge family, please contact Associate Director of Program Partnerships, Marti Deuter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bridge Communities schedules mentor training three times per year. Mentor training is required before assignment to work with a client family. In addition, a background check is conducted on each mentor before he or she can begin mentoring a Bridge family.
Our next Mentor Training session will be held on:
Saturday, March 9
500 Roosevelt Road, Glen Ellyn
8:30 am - 3:30 pm
To provide continuing education to mentors, Bridge holds Mentor University supplemental training classes several times each year. Past classes topics include:
- Motivational Coaching
- Trauma Informed Practice
- Stress Management & Your Client
- Credit Repair
- Financial Literacy
- And more!