- How do I contact The Bridge to request services?
- Contact the 24-hour crisis/referral hotline at 713-473-2801 and ask to set up an assessment appointment.
- Why don’t those who are abused just leave?
- There are many factors that make it difficult for people to leave an abusive situation.
- Many times, the abusive partner has kept the person financially dependent. They either are not allowed to work/attend school or the abuser may control the money that is brought in and not let the victim make any financial decisions. The partner can isolate the victim from friends and family leaving them without resources or a support system.
- Fear can also be brought on by threats like, “You’ll never see your children again,” or “I will hurt or kill you or a family member.” This makes it hard for the abused person to see any way out of the situation.
- Low self-esteem from repeated emotional/ physical/ mental abuse can compound these issues.
- Finally, many stay because they really do love their partner and feel like they will change.
- Even when a person does make the decision to leave they can face many hardships including lack of employment or income, transportation, affordable childcare and low self-esteem.
- Statistically, the most dangerous time for the abused person is when they are fleeing the violent situation.
- n addition, navigating through the legal and social systems can seem overwhelming. These barriers make it critical for families in need to receive caring, informed support. The Bridge can serve as the necessary lifeline to empower families to overcome barriers and rebuild their lives free from violence.
If I live outside of southeast Harris County, Texas, can I still call the hotline?
- Yes, you may still be able to receive services from us. Also, The Bridge is part of an information and referral network and can help you even if you reside outside of our target service area.
How much do Bridge services cost and who can benefit from them?
- The Bridge offers a large variety of quality, cost-efficient services with most being free to clients. Clients are offered all services in the Emergency Shelter free of charge as are case management and community presentations. Clients in long-term housing are charged rent and childcare depending on their income and ability to pay. The rates are significantly lower than those found in the general community. All services are provided without regard to race, color, national origin, age, sex, handicap, sexual orientation, religion or political beliefs.
Are services offered in languages other than English?
- The Bridge offers all services in English and Spanish. The Bridge has a cooperative working agreement in place that offers translation services for other languages as needed.
What can I do to help a friend/family member in need of services?
- You may call the 24-hour hotline at 713-473-2801 on behalf of someone else.
If I call the hotline, is the information confidential?
If I seek help and reveal abuse or violence does The Bridge call the police or the abuse/offender?
- No. It is The Bridge’s policy to not call the police unless asked. With regards to the abuser, The Bridge will never attempt to contact an abuser. The only exceptions to this are: if the individual being abused is a minor a report will be made to Child Protective Services or if the individual being abused is age 65 or older and has a mental/physical disability a report will be made to Adult Protective Services in compliance with Texas State laws.
How long can someone stay in the Emergency Shelter?
- Women/children are granted an initial stay in the emergency shelter for up to 30 days. At the end of 30 days, they may apply for an extension through a caseworker provided they are working on goals. Longer stays in the shelter are generally a maximum six months. Often, women enter and exit the shelter within 48 hours.
Do children have to change schools while residing in the Emergency Shelter?
- Sometimes, depending on the child’s safety and transportation options that are available. Children’s program staff will work with the family and the school to determine the best situation for the family.
How do women qualify for permanent/transitional housing programs?
- Criteria for initial entry into the program includes:
- Referral from The Bridge or another emergency shelter program
- A survivor of domestic violence/sexual assault
- GED or plan to obtain one while participating in program
- Some source of income to cover monthly expenses (which are significantly reduced)
- If seeking permanent housing, one must have a documented physical or mental disability in addition to the aforementioned.
Does a person need to be documented as a legal immigrant to receive services?
- No. Services are offered without regards to immigration status.
What age children do you serve?
- The children’s services program serves newborns to children 17-years-old. Our specialized, professional childcare serves children ages 6-weeks to 12-years-old.
What specialized services are available for children?
- Children’s services are offered in a safe, nurturing environment. Children’s activities provide a healthy outlet for children and help them to develop positive social, emotional, physical and cognitive skills. Children’s program staff will work with the family to develop a personalized case plan and ensures needs are met, as necessary, through on-site childcare, school advocacy, transportation, tutoring, support/education groups and individual sessions with The Bridge’s family therapist.
Are the Children’s programs state-licensed?
- The Children’s program at the emergency shelter is exempt from licensure; however, we do follow state guidelines regarding health and safety-operating as if we were licensed. The program at Destiny Village (long-term shelter) is licensed by the state and operates under its regulations.
Where can I find job postings for The Bridge?