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New hires to help Bridges to Housing expand program

Appeal Staff Report   Jan 25, 2021

     Bridges to Housing announced the hiring of additional personnel and an expansion of its programs to assist low-income individuals or those experiencing homelessness in the Yuba-Sutter-Colusa community because of financial barriers.

     The nonprofit organization created a new landlord liaison program and expanded financial aid, which will provide locals with help locating housing and funding rent, pay for landlord incentives, and other housing expenses.

     Bridges to Housing helps by funding rental security deposits for local low-income residents or those experiencing homelessness. As part of the process, organization representatives evaluate a client’s need to help find solutions to their particular housing problems, as well as communicate with landlords, provide qualified applicants with the security deposits, and, when necessary, provide full or partial rent for the first month.

     Leonette Burgett-Peters will be the organization’s new program administrator. Richard Cray was hired to be the organization’s housing navigator.

     The organization has been around since 2008.

     For more information, call 755-3414, email bridgestohousing@gmail.com  or visit www.bridgestohousing.net

 

Bridges to Housing

Local nonprofit helps people overcome financial barriers

By Lynzie Lowe / llowe@appealdemocrat.com   Apr 14, 2019

     Finding quality and affordable housing is difficult enough these days without the added stress of worrying about how to pay to get into it. One local nonprofit is working to ease financial restrictions and help those in need secure quality and safe housing in the face of less availability, higher deposits, and fewer landlords accepting vouchers.

     Bridges to Housing is an organization that provides security deposit assistance for those that could not otherwise afford the up-front costs associated with renting a home themselves.  “Barriers to housing certainly include a shortage of properties, but even if a renter can find a place they can afford to rent, the initial costs can be prohibitive,” said Susan Kimmel, Bridges to Housing board secretary.  “Some landlords have increased the amount of security deposit required, and many have ceased to accept Section 8 housing vouchers, forcing their tenants to seek other housing,” Kimmel said.  The number of applicants interviewed by the organization has increased after the Camp Fire, even though the difficulty of finding housing has worsened.

     While Bridges to Housing does not find housing for clients, they evaluate clients’ needs to help find solutions to their housing issues, negotiate on the clients' behalf with property owners and managers, provide partial deposits to qualified applicants, and network with many other service providers in the area to ensure that clients are receiving the best care.

     “Our mission is to assist homeless and low-income families to obtain safe, decent, and affordable housing,” said Sharon Foote, Bridges to Housing board president. 

     Interested participants are required to fill out an application and then go through an intake interview. 

Based on the application and interview process, qualified applicants will be allocated a certain amount of money to be paid directly to their rental agency to cover partial costs of the security deposit. These funds are provided through various grants, federal and organizational funding. 

     “U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funding, as well as Community Service Block grants and foundation grants, and income from our fall Soup’s On fundraiser, have put us in the happy position of being able to help more clients than ever before,” Kimmel said.

     Services are open to anyone in the Yuba, Sutter, or Colusa County area that meets the few qualifications required to utilize these services.  All applicants must be able to provide verification of income that indicates they have enough funds each month to cover rent at their desired location. A Social Security card must be shown for each member that will be residing in the rental property as well. 

 

Bridges to Housing helps local with rental deposit

 

     Carolyn Johnson was referred to the Bridges to Housing program while inquiring at the Sutter County Housing Authority.  “I was really impressed and very thankful for the program,” Johnson said. “They were really able to assist me and they had such great understanding of the hardship that me and my granddaughter were going through.” 

     Johnson completed the application and interview process in February.  In March, Bridges to Housing was able to assist her with the entire rental deposit she needed to secure an apartment for herself and her granddaughter in Yuba City.  Johnson said she enjoyed the program so much that she would like to volunteer for Bridges to Housing in the future to assist others going through the process.  “I am just so thankful to have a place,” Johnson said. 

     Bridges to Housing has been assisting the community for the last 11 years.  Sharon Foote, Bridges to Housing board president, said a group of community members came together in 2006 with the common goal of figuring out what can be done to help the homeless community. The group became an accredited nonprofit organization in 2008. 

     The organization's board and staff are largely made up of volunteers, with only one part-time paid contracted employee. 

     Last year, Bridges to Housing provided rental security deposits to 96 families made up of 134 adults and 87 children.

     Bridges to Housing currently works with a wide variety of community resource and social service agencies, including Hands of Hope, R.E.S.T., Salvation Army, Yuba-Sutter Homeless Consortium, Casa de Esperanza, St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, St. Vincent de Paul, Sutter County Social Services, Yuba-Sutter Stand Down, Yuba-Sutter Behavioral Health and California Rural Legal Assistance. 

 

 

Community Brief: Volunteers for Bridges to Housing

Appeal-Democrat   Jul 22, 2018

     Volunteers and donations are sought for Bridges of Housing, a nonprofit group dedicated to placing homeless people into homes. 

     Volunteers must be 18 years or older and are fingerprinted. Volunteer duties include office work and in-take of clients. 

     Cash donations may be sent to Bridges to Housing, 909 Spiva Ave., Yuba City. 

      The facility in Yuba City placed 48 families and children into houses so far in 2018. 

     For more information, call 755-3414.

 

 

Restoring hope with Bridges to Housing

By Kayla Webster kwebster@appealdemocrat.com   Nov 26, 2017 Updated Nov 27, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bridges to Housing helped Jeanette Williams get her own apartment after she became homeless earlier this year.

Courtesy photo

     No matter the physical or emotional pain, people often choose to stay in abusive relationships because they depend on the abuser for housing and can’t afford to move into a place of their own, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. But victims don’t have to continue living in fear; there are nonprofit organizations geared to help people obtain safe housing.

     Earlier this year, Jeanette Williams, 59, of Marysville, escaped domestic violence; but working up the nerve to leave her abuser left her and her son without a home. With nowhere to stay, Williams sought help from Bridges to Housing – a local nonprofit dedicated to helping the homeless find permanent housing.  “I was in an abusive relationship and was living with my son; I ended up leaving him and came here (Bridges to Housing) for help,” Williams said. “It was very helpful to me because they gave us places to come off the street and they fed us well.”

     Bridges to Housing is inside the Hands of Hope office – another local nonprofit dedicated to helping the homeless. Clients from Bridges to Housing are often referred to Hands of Hope for additional assistance; the charity provides facilities to shower, meals and rides.  “They let us shower, gave us clothes and rides to the hospital; they’re very concerned people,” Williams said. “You can use them as an address if you don’t have anywhere for mail to come from.”

     Within no time, Williams was able to move into her own apartment with help from Bridges. The organization negotiates with local landlords to lower apartment deposits to more affordable amounts. But if clients still can’t afford to pay the deposit, Bridges to Housing will pay a percentage.

     “They kept me off the streets; I’m so grateful,” Williams said.

      Now that she’s in a place of her own, Williams is focusing on her career prospects by taking classes at Yuba College. After she completes her coursework, Williams’s next dream is to serve as a mentor to people who are in the same position. “I’m going to school for human services; I’m hoping I can volunteer somewhere so I can help someone with how it helped me,” Williams said. “I’d like to help homeless people and share my story with them and how the program helps. There’s a lot of hurting people that need love.”

     Williams advises anyone struggling with homelessness to seek out help from Bridges to Housing. 

     The non-profit is completely run by grants and donations; anyone interested in contributing can donate on the Bridges to Housing website.

 

Additional Information: 

What: Bridges to Housing    

Address: 909 Spiva Ave., Yuba City    

Phone: 755-3414     

Website: www.bridgestohousing.net

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