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The Bridge is a safety net for children and families...

• A place where kids in crisis can find real hope

• A place where parents get help when there's trouble at home

• A place where homeless teens become self-sufficient adults
Are Your Children’s Emotions Affecting Their Health?
How Stress and Feelings Impact Wellness - A Parenting Panel Discussion
Have you seen your family’s pediatrician or a specialist in search of a cause for your child’s stomach ache, headache, change in attitude, or something else? What’s going on? Could it be a virus? Could it be stress? Could it be a combination?

Life can be stressful. As adults we deal with stress regularly, but it’s easy to forget that children get stressed, too. Our panel will discuss the link between children’s emotions and their physical symptoms. Come engage with these trained professionals and learn about the connection between stress, emotion, and health.

This FREE event will take place on Monday, September 29th from 7:00-8:30 p.m. at Conard High School, 110 Beechwood Road, West Hartford. Chip Janiszewski will moderate for a panel of four behavioral health experts: Dr. Tom Brown, Doctors Express; Joanna Curry-Sartori; Family Therapist, the Bridge Family Center, Jacqueline O. Berkowitz, Child Services Director, Jewish Family Services, and Tor Fiske, Counseling Department Supervisor, West Hartford Public Schools. If you have questions, please call 860.236.1927 ext. 7130 or 860.841.0653.
2015 Children's Charity Ball Committee
An enthusiastic Children's Charity Ball Committee kicked off the planning for our 16th annual gala. Executive Director Margaret Hann welcomed the committee members, thanked them for their time and talent, and spoke about how the monies raised at the Ball go directly to help children and families in need.

The Ball will be held on Saturday, January 17, 2015 at the Hartford Golf Club. If you would like to be added to the invitation list, email Beth Ryan or call the Bridge at 860.521.8035.
West Hartford Teen Center Opens for School Year
Celebrating its 15th year serving West Hartford, the Teen Center, staffed and operated by the Bridge Family Center, is a FREE, supervised, safe, clean, and substance-free place for teens to hang out after school, do their homework, and stay out of trouble.The Center offers both informal socializing and organized programs such as: pick-up games of basketball, billiards, Ping-Pong, Xbox, creative arts, and cooking. There are also tournaments with prizes, a holiday dinner and raffle, and member-of-the-month gift cards!  So encourage your Hall or Conard high-schoolers to check out the “teen scene” at the Center.

The West Hartford Teen Center is located in the Elmwood Community Center at 1106 New Britain Avenue, West Hartford.  There is NO CHARGE to come to the Teen Center.  It is open on Monday and Friday from 2:30-5:00 p.m., Wednesday from 1:00-3:30 p.m., and one Friday night per month from 7:00-10:00 p.m. Check here for Friday night dates.

All Teen Center participants are expected to understand and sign an Honor Code that enforces behavioral expectations and encourages good values and tolerance.  The staff is there to guide members through problem-resolution, decision-making, as well as relationship-building skills.  Teens can expect to meet new people and make friends, but are also encouraged to bring peers to join them.  The best part is that parents will know their children are protected and will be happy to be there. 
...read more
The Bridge Receives Federal Grant From Health and Human Services
Youth in Transition (YIT) Transitional Living Program
The transition from high school into adulthood is tough enough for traditional students. For students struggling with poverty or a lack of support, that transition is exponentially more difficult. The Bridge Family Center was awarded a federal grant of $185,038 annually for the next five years to support our Youth in Transition (YIT) Transitional Living Program, an innovative and critical program for runaway and homeless youth (RHY) ages 16-21.

The program is for young people in Central Connecticut, including Greater Hartford, who are not in the state system of care, and can include pregnant and parenting teens and their children. The Bridge is among only 20 other organizations in the country to be granted funding for this critical youth program. YIT provides annual support services and transitional housing, including five scattered site apartments, to youths who seek assistance to leave the streets and build independent, secure lives. At any one time, the apartments can accommodate up to 10 YIT participants and five of their children. ...read more
Celebrating 45 Years
2014 Annual Meeting Held at the Pond House Cafe
Rob Koff, KWK Management, LLC
Margaret Hann, Executive Director,
Dawn Koff
The Bridge held its annual meeting on June 10 at the Pond House Café. Seventy Bridge staff, board members, and friends gathered to celebrate the Bridge’s 45th year.  

Executive Director Margaret Hann shared highlights from the past year. The Bridge received three substantial grants to support our work: 1) a Federal Transitional Living Program grant—$185,038 a year for the next five years—to serve runaway and homeless youth ages 16 to 23; a three-year $375,000 ($125,000 per year) operating support grant from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving; $298,000 from the Governor’s Nonprofit Grant Program to be used for a new management information system and to add four additional offices to our counseling center. Another milestone was a record $275,000 raised at the Children’s Charity Ball.    ...read more
Celebrating Margaret Johnson
Her time and talents made a difference at the Bridge
More than 20 years ago, Margaret (better known to us as Peggy) Johnson responded to an ad for a clerical volunteer at the Bridge. She had recently lost her husband and was looking for something meaningful to fill her life. Well, she filled hers and ours.

For all those years, Peggy copied, folded, stuffed, sealed, delivered, and so on. She became the keeper of our scrapbooks of news clippings—a historian of sorts. She ran our craft fair at The Hartford for many years. Each spring, she coordinated our fifth grade poster project about making healthy choices. She picked up the posters from each elementary school, sorted and mounted them, and delivered them to be displayed in stores, banks, libraries, and more. She mounted and tied pens on hundreds of bid sheets for our Children’s Charity Ball. Many clerical tasks became her jobs and she took them seriously and did them well. She came in—often in spite of weather and health issues. She believed in the Bridge and enjoyed the camaraderie she found here.

Peggy recently retired. We celebrated her many years of commitment to the Bridge with a luncheon at the Hartford Golf Club. We are grateful beyond words for what she gave us—her time and talents for more than 20 years.
...read more
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