CrossNet Ministries in New Holland, Pennsylvania, has made it a priority to incorporate Bridges principles and understanding into the onboarding of new staff, ongoing trainings for current staff, and, more importantly, the practices and spaces that determine how we serve our participants.
CrossNet lives out its mission of bringing help and hope to the Eastern Lancaster County School District by providing youth programming, access to healthy food, case management and housing programs, and community outreach events. Two of the 14 staff members are Bridges Out of Poverty certified trainers, and four staff members are Getting Ahead certified. All new staff are required to attend a Bridges Out of Poverty workshop, and volunteers are encouraged to attend as well. On a quarterly basis, concepts from the Bridges framework are taught and discussed during all-staff meetings.
This year at CrossNet, all program manuals are being updated, and included in each manual is a (cited) overview of main concepts from Bridges Out of Poverty and Getting Ahead that inform how we engage participants and community members. This overview includes the importance of knowing and understanding the different hidden rules, as well as the importance of relationships of mutual respect.
Our social workers integrate participation in a Getting Ahead cohort into guidelines for participants who enter our transitional housing program, as it provides opportunity for growth and deeper relationship. We have also increased access to Getting Ahead classes by partnering with a local early learning center as a host, where free childcare is provided to participants!
As staff members, we are encouraged to use language from the Bridges framework to assist our volunteers as they serve in programs. Our Bridges-trained staff members also have shared overviews of the content at local conferences and to numerous civic organizations and local businesses and churches. This invaluable information has opened many doors to deeper partnerships and support of programming as people gain new understanding as to the culture of poverty and how we are all in community together. Thank you, aha! Process!
When working on poverty issues, Bridges Out of Poverty is your answer.
We want to hear how you are using Bridges in your community. Drop an email to us, and we will share your story on our blog page.