Bridge Of Hope South Jersey

by R. Cohen Ohlstein | Oct 6, 2015
Bridge Of Hope South Jersey Homelessness is a big problem--and not just somewhere else. It is a problem right here in South Jersey. Just in Burlington County, the number of homeless now exceeds 1000 people – many with school age children. Bridge of Hope South Jersey exists to walk by faith helping single homeless mothers and their children find housing, overcome barriers, repair brokenness, and begin to change their life.

According to Program Director Samara (Sam) Lawry, the Bridge of Hope is not a “Band-Aid approach to homelessness.” The goal of the organization is to thoroughly make sure the mothers are able to sustain and maintain a better life for themselves and their children.

A Bit of History
Bridge of Hope South Jersey was established in 2008, and is currently located in Maple Shade. It is part of the national organization that comprises 22 other Bridge of Hope locations in 13 states and one Canadian province.

In October 2008, 10 Christians came together from Burlington County congregations to form “Bridge of Hope Burlington County” as a ‘Start-up,’ engaging 3-4 churches, raising $2500 in seed money, building a board, and completing a needs assessment throughout the county. After completing these tasks, in August 2009, they became a full affiliate of Bridge of Hope National. In 2013, they changed their name to Bridge of Hope South Jersey so that churches and families in Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties could join them in this ministry.

Their Mission and Business Model
The mission of Bridge of Hope is to “end and prevent homelessness for women and children with the help of trained mentoring groups within congregations. Single mothers achieve permanent housing and financial stability through employment and attain stability and enhanced self-esteem through ongoing mentoring friendships. Our goal is to exemplify Christ’s love and to promote physical, emotional, social and spiritual wholeness.”

To accomplish this, the Bridge of Hope uses a three-way partnership model, including the single mother, social worker and church-based mentoring group. In this model, the single mother attains financial stability through employment and budgeting, works toward personal goals, and builds friendships with mentors. The social worker enhances the strengths of the family to help facilitate a positive future, teaches budgeting and life skills, trains and supports mentors, and allocates rental assistance for rapid re-housing. The Church-based mentoring group builds positive relationships with mother and children, provides practical assistance and emotional support, and models positive parenting and nurtures spiritual growth.

If You Need Help
If you are a single mom, homeless or at-risk, living in Camden or Burlington County, please call Bridge of Hope South Jersey. The intake process is between two and three months. If there is a history of substance abuse, you must be six months sober and be in a recovery program.
Please call today and Sam (Program Director), can discuss the benefits and requirements of their program with you privately. The program line number is 609-864-6277, or email your contact information to and Sam will follow-up with you directly.

Get Involved
If you would like to learn about the many different ways you can help support or become part of this very necessary and very beneficial organization, please reach out to them at, call the Main Office at 856-755-0556, the Program Office (Social Worker) at 609-864-6277, or go to

Text from with permission (E. Williams 4/10/15).

© 2015. All rights reserved. This article or parts thereof may not be reprinted or reproduced by any other party without the express written consent of For more information, please call 856-797-9910.

For more on local Organizations, visit our South Jersey Organizations page.

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Author: R. Cohen Ohlstein


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