Our vision or our cause is to transform lives and give hope by breaking the cycles of poverty, homelessness, and addiction. Our goal is to transform lives by proclaiming Christ, bridging service gaps, creating networks, and building community through a relational approach. We envision a place where ministries, community agencies, non-profits, and churches can come together to serve those in need.
Our mission is simple. Simon Kenton Bridges of Hope is a faith-based, Christ-centered, non-profit organization dedicated to serving persons experiencing homelessness, poverty, and consequences of addictive behaviors. Bridges of Hope will address the needs of such persons by providing access to life-building and life-sustaining services, either through direct benevolence or in collaboration with private agencies, ministerial entities, and/or government agencies.
History and Future
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. Now 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 it will once again serve our community.
The Bridges of Hope team has begun the renovation of the Simon Kenton school building. This will better enable us to evaluate, plan, and continue to raise funds for the overall project. Our hope is to phase in services as resources allow and renovations are completed. Our plan is to begin limited services and a shelter for this coming winter.
Phase II of Bridges of Hope will add some exciting additional services, including a year-round shelter for the homeless — temporary housing for men, women and children. This will bridge a critical gap until they can gain transitional or permanent housing. This phase will also add a full-service commercial kitchen that will provide meal programs for the community.
Flexible office space and classrooms will be made available for volunteers from area businesses and service groups. They in turn can provide clients with guidance, education and services not easily available to them — services such as tax preparation, health care, parenting classes, job counseling, financial planning, computer training, and menu planning. Other activities could include GED preparation, classes in English as a Second Language, athletic programs, and fruit & vegetable gardening.
These additional services will necessitate major upgrades including a fire suppression system, HVAC replacement, restroom improvements to comply with ADA guidelines, and more. This phase of the program will require major expense, so these changes will be initiated only when funding goals are reached and the improvements can be made debt-free.