Berks County

A Church-Based Approach to Ending Family Homelessness

Andrea’s story

Andrea & family PA Grand Canyon100_0461

How Andrea came to Bridge of Hope:
“I suddenly found myself single with 2 small children, ages 1 and 2. I had no idea what I was going to do. How would I find a job? How would I find day care? How would I juggle work, the household chores and the children’s needs? How do single moms do this? The unanswered questions swirled in my head. Through the questions, fears and tears I asked God, “ Help me, hold my hand, move my feet and give me the grace to be everything I need to be today.”
Andrea’s relationship with her mentors:
“The night I met my mentors was like Christmas. They showered me with so many gifts: things that I needed, things that I wanted, and most of all love. From the first moment I met them I felt blessed that people who didn’t know me cared so much about me. Every one of them brought something different to the relationship with different gifts, interests and resources. Every one of them has been an inspiration and a blessing in my life. Despite our hectic schedules, they found time to open up their homes and their hearts to me and to my children. The mentors and their entire church have been so wonderful to us. They truly wrapped my family in the loving arms of Christ.”
Andrea’s partnership with Bridge of Hope Staff:
“The staff at Bridge of Hope helped me in many tangible ways: from moving to furnishing my apartment; and from understanding services available to navigating through the documentation related to acquiring those services. They helped me break down the overwhelming puzzle into manageable pieces that I could handle. They gave me the steps, goals, and support for me to be on my way to becoming independent financially and emotionally.”
How Andrea’s life changed:
“Now I don’t question whether I will make it. I have confidence in myself and am proud of my accomplishments. I have been able to keep my home and my car, get more education, a good job and adequate childcare, and pay my bills. Now the question is, ‘How will the Lord work it out this time?’ I have learned to take down the walls of mistrust I built from previous hurts and trust people again. I hope that I can give to others out of the gratitude I feel for the help I’ve received.”
Andrea’s life three years after graduating from Bridge of Hope:
“My experience in Bridge of Hope is still in my thoughts almost on a daily basis. Life has not been a “piece of cake” since I completed the program, but at least I have had a more solid ground to stand on in the times when things were still hard. The tools and experiences that I gained from my time in Bridge of Hope, I still put into practice in my life. They continue to help keep me from ending up back in the state of desperation I was in when I first entered the program. I still have a steady job, a stable roof over the heads of my children and me, and a strong faith that keeps us all going even when things start to look difficult again. So, 3 years later we still consider ourselves tremendously blessed to have been a part of Bridge of Hope. We’ve been built up so much from where we were. We even have the occasional opportunity to bless the lives of others and return a little bit of what was so lovingly and freely given to us.”
Andrea’s life six years after graduating from Bridge of Hope:
“I often still think about what a blessing Bridge of Hope was to my life.  It is what helped me to learn how to take the first steps toward rebuilding my life after a period of what could have destroyed me.  But, God used this program and the people involved in it to lift me up and teach me how to fly again.  Now, I am gratefully soaring in His great grace.  I am now employed in full time vocational ministry, helping others to rebuild their lives and families.  In recent years I have also been called to mission work in third world countries such as Africa, Guatemala and Haiti.  I was even able to bring my children with me on the latest  mission trip to Haiti, and teach them the joy of giving back and serving the Lord in such an incredible way.  I will be forever grateful for the time I spent “getting back on my feet” in Bridge of Hope and all the life skills I learned from this program and all the groundwork that was laid in my heart and life to lead me to where I am now.  Most of all I am forever unspeakably grateful for God’s grace and the people He used to extend it to me.”