The Bridge Family Center
main offices at 1022 Farmington Avenue in West Hartford, CT
The Bridge was founded in 1969 to meet the needs of West Hartford community youth who were engaged in high-risk behavior, especially substance abuse, and who were getting into trouble with the law. Over the next few years, the Bridge expanded its outreach efforts, opened a shelter for runaway and homeless youth, and began to work directly with schools.
Today the Bridge is a comprehensive, regional nonprofit agency offering a broad range of services to children, youth, and families in the Greater Hartford area, with particular attention to serving those at risk.
The Mission of the Bridge is to foster the courage
and strength in children and families to meet
life's challenges and build fulfilling lives.
The Bridge has four program areas that support its mission:1) Family Resource Centers
provide parent education, family counseling, reading readiness programs, after-school learning and enrichment activities, and early childhood intervention programs at four West Hartford elementary schools.2) Youth and Family Services
provides counseling, positive youth development, school-based programs, support groups, parenting services, and the West Hartford Teen Center. 3) Residential Services
provides youth shelters called Short-Term Assessment and Respite (STAR) homes in West Hartford, Manchester, Southington, Wolcott, and Harwinton; Eleanor House, a therapeutic group home for girls in Hartford; and transitional living programs for older teens: the Independent Living Program and the Moving On Project.4) Community Services
offers Tune-In to Life Week and the West Hartford Family newsletter; events: Breakfast on the Bridge and the Children's Charity Ball; and annual community recognitions: the Build No Fences Award and the Bridge Business Award.
With an annual budget
of $7.6 million, the Bridge Family Center served nearly 8,000 young people and families last year. Bridge Family Center services are funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; the State of Connecticut Departments of Children and Families and Education, the Town of West Hartford; and private donations from individuals, foundations, corporations and organizations. The Bridge is governed by a Board of Directors
composed of 16 individuals from West Hartford and the Greater Hartford community. About 200 staff
members carry out the programs and services of the Bridge, assisted by over 175 volunteers
Click here for a narrative history
of the Bridge and a chronology
of Bridge highlights.