Bridge House was started in 1957 when a group of alcoholics trying to recover realized that alcoholics and addicts living on the street had little chance for recovery. It has transitioned over the years from being strictly a shelter for the homeless and addicted to becoming a long-term intensive alcohol and drug addiction treatment center. Bridge House offers professional counseling on par with some of the finest substance abuse treatment facilities in the country to those members of the community who have lost the ability to obtain treatment and stable housing on their own.
About 75% of our operating budget is derived from our internal funding sources: two thrift stores, used car lot, major fundraising events, annual mail-outs, various foundations and individual donors. The remaining amount comes from city, state, and federal funding sources.
In January of 1985, Grace House was founded through a community-based grass-roots movement with an original capacity for six halfway house beds. The need was so great for substance abuse treatment among women that in less than a year it expanded to 15 beds. In 1996, in collaboration with Unity for the Homeless, Grace House was awarded a grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and with additional funding from United Parcel Service and HUD, the organization was able to purchase and renovate a historic home on Delachaise Street. In January 1997, Grace House moved into this larger and newly renovated facility with an increased treatment capacity to 25 beds. Grace House has treated more than 2,000 women since opening its doors 25 years ago.
In early 2006 Grace House faced economic and programmatic uncertainty due to post-Katrina challenges. In October of 2006 the boards of Bridge House and Grace House agreed to merge key elements of the programs, thus saving Grace House’s legacy, its successful programming and twenty-five treatment beds for women. While sharing administrative services and a Board of Directors with Bridge House, Grace House retains its own Executive Director. In 2010 when the Bridge House men’s program moved to its new building on Earhart, the historic Camp Street location was renovated in order to expand Grace House’s capacity to serve 70 women.