Bridge Communities: Empowering families to achieve economic independence

December 02, 2022 | by Edward-Elmhurst Health

New funding from Edward-Elmhurst Health will help empower 15 families experiencing homelessness in DuPage County to achieve economic stability through Bridge Communities’ transitional housing program.

The program is being supported through Edward-Elmhurst Health’s Community Investment Fund. In July 2022, Edward-Elmhurst Health awarded $3,994,000 to 14 organizations across Cook, DuPage and Will Counties with the goal of advancing health equity and supporting local economic growth.

Bridge Communities is the largest provider of transitional housing to families facing homelessness in DuPage County. For almost 35 years, Bridge Communities has provided safe housing, holistic support services and financial coaching to help families experiencing homelessness find long-lasting economic independence. The organization serves between 80 and 100 families each year and owns more than 150 apartments.

Each family receives housing and wraparound services for two years, as well as a personalized plan to achieve financial self-sufficiency. “Every family comes to us with different needs, different strengths and backgrounds, and different goals,” said Andrea Carradus, Manager of Foundation and Corporate Relations at Bridge Communities.


According to Carradus, homelessness in DuPage County is often hidden. “These families are our neighbors,” she said. “They may be invisible, but they're part of our community.”

A team of volunteer mentors partners with each family to help them navigate day-to-day challenges. The mentors assist families in setting a budget, creating their goal plan and addressing any challenges that come up. “These mentors are deeply involved with the life of the family,” said Carradus.

Every family receives different resources based on their needs and goals. These resources can include employment coaching, tutoring for the children or access to mental health counseling and medical providers. Families may need a donated car or help for a parent to finish their college degree.

The grant from Edward-Elmhurst Health will support 15 families in Bridge Communities’ transitional housing program. Sponsoring entities like local corporations, community groups, churches and synagogues provide the organization’s volunteer mentors as well as 40% of a monthly fee that supports the family. According to Carradus, it costs between $32,000 and $33,000 a year to support each family. Bridge Communities must raise the remaining 60% of the monthly fee. The grant will fund the remaining 60% for 15 families.

“We are incredibly grateful for Edward-Elmhurst Health's large-scale investment,” said Carradus. “For an organization like ours, this has a major impact on the work we're doing.”

Learn more about Edward-Elmhurst’s Community Investment Fund partners.

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