“I would come to The Bridge for a meal when we had no groceries at home, I always found staff to be kind, helpful and non-judgemental.”
– a female Bridge guest, age 18.
Leamington has some of the greatest barriers to youth success in Windsor-Essex County, including high rates of poverty, poor educational attainment, and poorer health outcomes.
“Living at home is no longer an option. If I wasn’t here, I would be at a friend’s house doing dope,” says a male Bridge guest, age 18.
The Bridge brings together partners from health and wellness, education and employment sectors to offer a fully integrated, wraparound service model to support local youth. Partnerships include South Essex Community Council, John Howard Society Windsor-Essex County, New Canadian Centre of Excellence, Windsor Essex Community Health Centre, Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Society, New Beginnings, local churches, and more.
“When I came, everyone made me feel welcome … I am eating better and taking better care of my emotional health. I love having my own space and not sleeping on a couch. I have met people here who are showing me a better way to communicate and have helped me access community services,” says a female Bridge guest, age 19, who’s provided for herself since she was nine years old. She is currently finishing Grade 12 with hopes to go to college. “I wouldn’t be finishing high school if I was not living here. I feel like I can dream again.”
“I was nervous about staying here at first, but it’s where I need to be.”