The Story of Bridges of Hope
In 2017 a group of likeminded individuals formed a planning team as they sought to find a solution to alleviate the growing problem of homelessness in their community. Out of their vision of a hub of hope for those suffering from homelessness, poverty, and the consequences of addictive behavior, came the beginning of Bridges of Hope.
Open to those in need in Greene County
A Hub of Hope
By transforming a building we can preserve the heritage of past generations while offering hope for present and future generations. The Simon Kenton building served as an elementary school from 1974 until 2013. Purchased by Bridges of Hope, from the City of Xenia, on September 12, 2017, this remarkably adaptable 39,000 square foot building – still in reasonably good condition – was slated for demolition, but now, once again, serves our community.
The Bridges of Hope (BOH) team began the renovation of the Simon Kenton school building and in December of 2017 we were able to open an emergency overnight shelter in the gym area. Their hope was to phase in services as resources allowed and renovations were completed. With the temporary emergency shelter in place, services to the homeless of Greene County began. From the very beginning, BOH had an enormous job as people in need began to pour in from all over the community. The team adapted and learned, taking counsel from community leaders, local law enforcement, and other community ministries.
Over the next few years, including walking prayerfully through the global pandemic of 2020-2021, the ministry grew to include daytime services, that include partnerships with local social services, other ministries in recovery, physical and mental health, and churches that serve BOH’s needs. With each day the team learned more about how to better serve and set up for success the homeless and poverty-stricken of our community.
Blessing our Community day by day
A Future of Hope
Today Bridges continues its growth, which includes having its doors open 24 hours each day, 7 days a week! The shelter safely houses adult men and women overnight and during the day personalized services are provided for those seeking job training and placement, finding permanent housing, recovery services, health care intervention, ID replacements, and 3 square meals!
We have implemented a full staff that manages daily needs, keeps the building in good condition, coordinates with other community entities, and works to support the guests through their process to stability and permanent housing. We also have been blessed with so many volunteers that come and help out in various ways on campus. From providing daily meals, to work teams that help with cleaning and renovations, to our amazing garden space that provides the shelter with fresh produce each summer, to churches that bring services, to regular supporters that give financially so that BOH can continue to operate fully, we are well cared for by our volunteer community.
Work on the building continues and we now have built-out office space for staff, a dedicated computer room, a common area for staff and guests to gather, private meeting rooms, a training area, and even a dedicated chapel where local churches can come and minister to our guests. We also use this chapel area as a quiet place for our guests to sit and be in the Word and pray. We still have much to do but God has blessed us with so much!!
To assist Greene County adults who are homeless by empowering them to heal body, mind, and spirit in a safe and supportive environment.
To see a community strengthened by lives transformed from homelessness to self- sufficiency through Christs love and community collaboration.