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Bridge Over Troubled Waters, Inc.

 47 West Street
 Boston, MA 02111
[P] (617) 423-9575 x 231
[F] (617) 482-5459
Barbara Baxter
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 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-2472126

LAST UPDATED: 12/17/2018
Organization DBA Bridge
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No



Mission StatementMORE »

Bridge provides effective and innovative services to runaway, homeless and high-risk youth, helps youth avoid a lifetime of dependency on social services, guides youth towards self-sufficiency, and enables youth to transform their lives and build fulfilling, meaningful futures.

Mission Statement

Bridge provides effective and innovative services to runaway, homeless and high-risk youth, helps youth avoid a lifetime of dependency on social services, guides youth towards self-sufficiency, and enables youth to transform their lives and build fulfilling, meaningful futures.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2018 to June 30, 2019
Projected Income $4,969,340.00
Projected Expense $4,963,340.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Counseling and Substance Abuse Services
  • Education and Career Development
  • Emergency Youth Shelter
  • Street Outreach and Mobile Medical Van
  • Transitional Day Program

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

Bridge provides effective and innovative services to runaway, homeless and high-risk youth, helps youth avoid a lifetime of dependency on social services, guides youth towards self-sufficiency, and enables youth to transform their lives and build fulfilling, meaningful futures.

Background Statement

In the late 1960’s, a dedicated group of teachers who were members of the order of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Boston, began reaching out to disaffected, troubled, and often drug-involved youth on the Boston Common and in Cambridge which had become gathering places for young people who had no place else to go. Many of these youth had run away from abusive situations at home, others had been kicked out by their parents, and many were being exploited and abused, sexually, physically, and financially by people they met on the street. These were tumultuous times, and the Bridge founders saw first-hand the challenges which young people faced. It was the troubles their students experienced in school which brought them out to the streets to offer support and assistance, when it seemed that no one else was addressing what they realized was a mounting crisis. These young women were among the first to recognize and respond to the growing population of homeless youth, a phenomenon which was to grow into a national issue.  

At first, the Bridge founders provided sandwiches, cold drinks, and non-judgmental conversations that turned into supportive counseling, referrals to health care, psychiatric services, a way back home if possible, and planning for alternatives when going home was not an option. Yet, by 1970, it was clear that traditional services weren’t going to work for this new and growing homeless population. Bridge Over Troubled Waters was formed, under the pioneering leadership of Sister Barbara Whelan, who became Bridge’s founding Executive Director; Sister Marie Keough, the Financial Director; and Sister Barbara Scanlon, the head streetworker and program director. The organization was non-denominational, with no affiliation to any church or other organization.


Collaborating with a group of physicians from Massachusetts General Hospital, Bridge organized a volunteer-run, mobile medical van to bring emergency and preventive health care to the streets. They were out there day and night, interacting with troubled youth and offering help. They recruited doctors and nurses who volunteered to provide free, confidential medical care and created a unique health care model which continues to this day and has been replicated in dozens of cities around the world. They developed creative techniques to build trust and engage youth in addressing problems and barriers which prevented them from moving forward in their lives. They were on the forefront of a national movement to develop innovative programs and practices to reach the most vulnerable, high-risk youth and provide the age-appropriate continuum of care that could enable them to transform their lives and grow into fulfilled, self-sufficient adulthood.


Bridge Over Troubled Waters became – and after more than 40 years remains – a national model and program incubator for youth development services which are effective in helping the most troubled and vulnerable homeless youth to turn their lives around. When the need arose, Bridge was there to answer.

Impact Statement

Last year, Bridge’s Street Outreach Team made 5,131 contacts with runaway, homeless, and high-risk youth. The Mobile Medical Van Team provided emergency care and referrals to 6,064 to youth five nights each week.  All youth who came into Bridge received an initial intake by Bridge’s clinic counselors trained to work with this unique population, ages 14-24. Bridge secured $4.2 million in capital funding to renovate and expand its long-term transitional living programs in Brighton, MA.

The most significant goals established by Bridge during the fiscal year 2018, (July 1, 2017-June 30, 2018), will be growing, enhancing, and further developing Bridge’s housing continuum. Bridge will complete the renovation and expansion of its long-term Transitional Living Program and Single Parent House which began last year; continue its partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families to serve youth who age out of foster care with no connections to family or friends, and need continued counseling, case management, education and housing services; and continue its participation in The Youth Housing Pathways Program, a scattered site rapid rehousing program, based on a “housing first” model, offering housing search, rental assistance, case management, and a broad range of support services to assist the most hard-to-serve homeless youth.

Bridge is planning to purchase a residential property that will serve as independent affordable apartments for youth who graduate from Bridge’s Transitional Living Program and Single Parent House to provide opportunities for independence and self-sufficiency to youth who are ready to be on their own, but need that extra connection to stabilize. Bridge support will always be available. This model was pioneered by Bridge, and while not currently in operation, the agency is looking to purchase property and bring this unique program back.

Needs Statement

The needs and numbers of homeless youth have grown. For many, the barriers they face as they struggle to leave the streets have become more complex. The changing economy and lack of stable jobs for individuals without higher education, the exorbitant cost of housing in the Greater Boston area, and  severely restricted access to mental health and substance abuse treatment, along with deep cuts in funding for social services to assist those most in need, have left homeless youth increasingly vulnerable. In order to meet these growing needs, Bridge has increased both low barrier and emergency services and expanded housing options. The combined operating budgets for Bridge housing is $2.2 million annually, an average cost of $61/day per youth served. This economical budget amount provides safe housing, meals, basic needs, 24-hour per day staffing, in-house case management, and access to education, job development, employment assistance, in preparation for a hopeful future. Currently, only $400,000 per year is “guaranteed” through federal funding. All other funding must be raised again each year from private sources in today’s difficult fund-raising environment, with continuing need to discover new sources of support for its total operating budget of just under $5 million. 

CEO Statement

Over the past decade our government leaders, both locally and nationally, have expressly presented the eradication of homelessness as a national priority. For 50 years, Bridge’s mission and primary focus has been to serve a segment of the homeless population-runaway, homeless and high-risk youth. According to the National Network for Youth, it is estimated that there are hundreds of thousands of homeless and runaway youth in this country. Studies show that a disproportionate number of homeless youth identify as lesbian, gay, bi-sexual or transgender compared to the number in the general population. These youth are particularly at high risk of homelessness because they are so often rejected by their families, schools and communities. But, regardless of whom these youth are, on any night, in any season, these youth are sleeping on our streets, in abandoned buildings, in emergency shelters or sleeping temporarily in the homes of friends or strangers.


Studies show there are lots of reasons youth become homeless. Some leave home after years of physical and sexual abuse, neglect, substance abuse and poverty. Please understand that these youth are almost always homeless through no fault of their own!

So, why should all of us care about homeless youth?

It’s fundamental and straightforward. There are serious consequences for society since all children, including the hundreds of thousands of homeless youth, are our future! We must consider the long term economic impact of this segment of the future workforce, who has not been able to learn in a safe environment, a future workforce who has been vulnerable to the dangers of the street. This in turn has a negative impact on the economic health of our whole community.

Additionally, the consequences for these youth as individuals are devastating. Homeless youth are at higher risk for sexual exploitation, physical violence, mental health problems, substance abuse and even death. As our local and national leaders advocate, it is also our commitment and view that every young person in America should have a path to live up to their potential-and it is incumbent upon every adult to fulfill this pledge.

Bridge treasures the partnerships we have with all of you; friends, donors, and supporters who are strengthened by a shared belief and commitment to Bridge’s mission. The long term impact of our work to ensure that youth, an integral part of society, and our most valuable human resource, are prepared to lead us into the future.

Board Chair Statement

I am honored and humbled to serve as the President of the Board of Trustees for Bridge Over Troubled Waters. I follow a strong legacy of leaders who have worked together with the staff, board, community, and donors to make Bridge the premier agency in Boston serving 3,000 runaway, homeless, and high-risk youth annually; a population which is the most vulnerable and the least recognized. Although Bridge’s overall mission has not changed since its founding in 1970, its wrap around, continuum of care has expanded to a multi service model which includes street outreach, runaway intervention, healthcare through our Mobile Medical Van and dental and health clinics, counseling, case management, education, job development, and diverse housing alternatives. Over the next five years, Bridge’s strategic plan includes further expanding our alternative housing opportunities, enhancing our technology infrastructure, strengthening existing partnerships, further diversifying our donor base, and increasing our street outreach efforts to reach more youth. We look forward to accomplishing these efforts with Bridge’s dedicated staff, committed volunteers, and loyal donors. Thank you for your continued support!

Geographic Area Served

In a specific U.S. city, cities, state(s) and/or region.

Bridge serves runaway, homeless, and high-risk youth from out of the country, out of state, with a majority from Massachusetts. In Boston, homeless youth come from the following neighborhoods: Dorchester 32%, Boston Central 32%, Roxbury 10%, South Boston 6%, Allston/Brighton 6%, Mattapan 5%, Hyde Park/Roslindale/Jamaica Plain 5%, East Boston 3%, and Charlestown 1%.

Organization Categories

  1. Human Services - Homeless Services/Centers
  2. Housing, Shelter - Homeless Shelters
  3. Youth Development - Youth Development Programs

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)



Counseling and Substance Abuse Services

Bridge’s licensed counselors provide long and short-term substance abuse counseling, personal/emotional counseling, trauma informed treatment, family counseling, crisis counseling, and referrals
Budget  $321,360.00
Category  Mental Health, Substance Abuse Programs, General/other
Population Served College Aged (18-26 years) Unemployed, Underemployed, Dislocated Homeless
Program Short-Term Success       
Program Long-Term Success       
Program Success Monitored By       
Examples of Program Success       

Education and Career Development

Bridge’s GED Program provides self-paced study, tutoring, and individual and group instruction to youth at every grade level. The Workforce Development Program provides a wide range of job-training competencies. Through the GED to College Pathways program, students are taught skills they need to successfully navigate college life and are introduced to the post-secondary academic environment.

Budget  $556,466.00
Category  Education, General/Other
Population Served College Aged (18-26 years) Homeless Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Program Short-Term Success       
Program Long-Term Success       
Program Success Monitored By       
Examples of Program Success       

Emergency Youth Shelter

In 2011, Bridge launched Greater Boston’s only Emergency Youth Shelter, a 14-bed skill-based shelter program, housed on the 3rd floor of Bridge’s main facility at 47 West Street in downtown Boston for homeless youth ages 18-24. This program bridges the current gap in housing services for homeless youth and provides the transitional assistance and emergency shelter necessary to move youth quickly and successfully into permanent housing.  Bridge’s shelter program complements Bridge’s broad continuum of services and allows youth to further their education, build job skills, and address issues such as addiction and mental illness so they may transition successfully into independent living.



Budget  $524,300.00
Category  Human Services, General/Other
Population Served Homeless College Aged (18-26 years) Unemployed, Underemployed, Dislocated
Program Short-Term Success  95% of all shelter clients will be working or in school, or both, within two weeks of obtaining a "contract" shelter bed.
Program Long-Term Success  For clients with a "contract" shelter bed, 50% will move to transitional or independent living within 6 months of entering the shelter. 40 clients per year will move to transitional or independent living. 80 clients per year be provided with emergency shelter.
Program Success Monitored By  Bridge tracks length of stay, employment, schooling, money saved in a savings account, results of meetings with case managers and counselors in order to track clients' progress. 
Examples of Program Success  Last year, two-thirds of shelter clients moved to transitional or independent living within 6 months of entering the shelter. This is twice the national average rate for shelters.

Street Outreach and Mobile Medical Van

Street Outreach and Mobile Medical Van: Street Outreach is Bridge’s daily “foot patrol” of trained outreach workers who make regular, consistent contact with homeless youth on the streets throughout a range of neighborhoods in Boston and Cambridge where homeless youth are known to gather. The Mobile Medical Van, the first program of its kind in the nation, connects with the street outreach team each weeknight; and is a national model for providing critical care: medical attention, survival kits, clothes, food, and recommendations to make an appointment with Bridge’s in-house counselors to obtain low barrier, open intake, services at Bridge.

Budget  $460,051.00
Category  Health Care, General/Other
Population Served Homeless College Aged (18-26 years)
Program Short-Term Success       
Program Long-Term Success       
Program Success Monitored By       
Examples of Program Success       

Transitional Day Program

The Transitional Day Program (TDP) provides a drop-in center for homeless and street youth who require basic survival services and a safe place to spend time off of the streets. It is open 24/7, offering breakfast, lunch, showers, laundry and lockers as well as access to Case Managers who can provide support, referrals and crisis counseling. It also serves as a Warming Center at night, providing year-round shelter for up to 14 youth who otherwise would be on the streets. Youth who reside at the Emergency Shelter utilize the TDP for dinner, extended hours and weekends.




Budget  $315,700.00
Category  Human Services, General/Other
Population Served College Aged (18-26 years) Homeless
Program Short-Term Success       
Program Long-Term Success       
Program Success Monitored By       
Examples of Program Success       

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments






Since 1970, Bridge has helped over 85,000 runaway and homeless youth leave the streets and gain self sufficiency. Bridge provides street outreach, counseling, healthcare, transitional housing, education, job development, and survival services to runaway and homeless youth in order to provide safety and offer alternatives to street life. This summer Bridge opened Boston’s only Emergency Youth Shelter – now taking youth directly off the streets and offering them safety and a path out of homelessness.






CEO/Executive Director Ms. Elisabeth Jackson
CEO Term Start July 2013
CEO Email
CEO Experience

Executive Director Elisabeth Jackson leads the agency in all facets of operations, program delivery, infrastructure, and expansion. Jackson has been with Bridge for 25 cumulative years. She began working as a medical coordinator/back-up counselor for Bridge’s front-line Mobile Medical Van, reaching out to runaway and homeless youth on the streets of Boston and Cambridge and coordinating emergency medical care, crisis counseling, and referrals. Jackson came in house as an intake coordinator and counselor for four years. She then served as a member Bridge’s Board of Directors for five years. In January 2013, Jackson returned to Bridge as Interim Executive Director, and was named Executive Director in April 2013. Jackson was named to Mayor Martin J. Walsh's Task Force on Individual Homelessness, the City of Boston’s Continuum of Care Leadership Council, and is a member of the Massachusetts Interagency Human Trafficking Policy Task Force. Jackson was named to Boston Business Journal's 40 under 40. On a national level, Jackson is on the Board of Directors of MANY, a national network that engages stakeholders to strengthen outcomes for youth at highest risk for victimization and delinquency, and National Network for Youth. She is on the Advisory Board of the Runaway and Homeless Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center (RHYTTAC), a division of the federal Administration for Children and Families, as well as the Advisory Board of the National Safe Place Network, to provide guidance on the design, implementation, and evaluation of program activities to improve outcomes for runaway and homeless youth. Jackson has a Master’s degree in Human Service Management from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. 

Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
Mr. Robb Zarges Nov 2008 Dec 2012
Barbara Whelan June 1970 June 2008

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --


Award Awarding Organization Year
Outstanding Community Partner Year Up 2015


Affiliation Year
United Way Member Agency --
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


One-Stop System: Youth who stay overnight in the Welcome Center and are ready to begin the process of leaving the streets are more likely to access services if they do not have to travel to make multiple appointments a different locations. Bridge has established Memorandums of Understanding with agencies that provide services onsite such as HomeStart (housing needs), Department of Mental Health (diagnoses and ongoing treatment), MassHealth (health insurance), Boston Healthcare for the Homeless (health care), Mass General (psychiatric care) Tufts and Harvard Dental Schools (free dental care), and Boston College and Lesley College (counseling and education internships).

Bridge works with volunteer health care professionals from area hospitals such as Brigham and Women's, Children's Hospital, and Boston Medical Center on its Mobile Medical Van each weeknight.

Bridge has established referral relationships with over 100 health and human services organizations throughout Boston who specialize in sexual assault, suicide prevention, detox, shelter, mental health, food, HIV/STI testing, LGBTQIA issues, health care, and legal services.

Bridge’s Street Outreach Workers works with area adult shelters, Boston Police Department, Boston Improvement District, and other establishments to identify and intervene with homeless youth living on the streets and provide referrals to Bridge’s Welcome Center.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 70
Number of Part Time Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 400
Number of Contract Staff 2
Staff Retention Rate % 80%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 21
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 41
Hispanic/Latino: 7
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 51
Male: 19
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
Management Succession Plan Yes
Business Continuity of Operations Plan Yes
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Registration No

Risk Management Provisions


Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually


Board Chair Mr. Daniel Buoniconti
Board Chair Company Affiliation Foster & Eldridge, LLP
Board Chair Term July 2016 -
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Ms. Traci Lynette Brooks MD School Based Health Centers Medical Director, Cambridge Health Alliance Voting
Mr. Patrick Buckley Transwestern/RBJ Voting
Mr. Daniel Buoniconti Partner Foster & Eldridge, LLP Voting
Ms. Gloria L. Clough RN, CS Community Volunteer Voting
Ms. Wendy Coke Managing Partner, Shoolman Management Company Voting
Ms. Rita Galante Davis Community Volunteer Voting
Ms. Elizabeth Duffy Vice President & Counsel, State Street Bank Voting
Mr. Mouhamed Gueye Pharm.D, MBA Medical Science Director, Genentech Voting
Ms. Laura McDonagh Citizens Bank Voting
Ms. Karen V. Morton Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Liberty Mutual Insurance Voting
Ms. Ann Murphy Senior Vice President, O'Neill and Associates Voting
Mr. Daniel Nash Pegasystems Voting
Mr. Jon T. Perry Director of Finance, Shepherd Kaplan LLC Voting
Mr. Jerome L. Rappaport Jr. Principal, Chestnut Hill Realty Voting
Ms. Renee Hoffman Skeffington Senior Vice President, Acadian Asset Management LLC Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Phyllis Adelson -- Voting
Carlen Arima -- Voting
Judy Barrett -- Voting
Kevin Boyle -- Voting
Liz Ching -- Voting
Wendy Coke -- Voting
Rita Davis -- Voting
Hannah Galvin -- Voting
Phillip MacArthur -- Voting
Laura McDonagh -- Voting
Nerine Murphy -- Voting
Nick Ruiz de Luzuriaga -- Voting
Bill Schmidt -- Voting
Courtney Sharpe -- Voting
Ellen Sherman -- Voting

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 20
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 80
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 54
Male: 46
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 5
Board Term Limits 4
Board Meeting Attendance % 85%
Written Board Selection Criteria Under Development
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Under Development
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 80%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees

  • Audit
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Executive
  • Facilities
  • Finance
  • Governance and Nominating
  • Investment
  • Nominating
  • Program / Program Planning
  • Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Fiscal Year July 01, 2018 to June 30, 2019
Projected Income $4,969,340.00
Projected Expense $4,963,340.00
Form 990s

2017 990

2016 990

2015 990

2014 990

2013 990

2012 990

2011 990

2010 990

2009 990

Audit Documents

2017 Audit

2016 Audit

2015 Audit

2014 Audit

2013 Audit

2012 Audit

2011 Audit

2010 Audit

2009 Audit

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Revenue $4,876,787 $4,510,579 $4,454,988
Total Expenses $6,142,736 $4,103,862 $3,447,812

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $1,488,793 $1,594,820 $998,701
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified $1,488,793 $1,594,820 $998,701
Individual Contributions $1,466,327 $1,343,072 $2,029,488
Indirect Public Support $326,608 $168,450 --
Earned Revenue $180,167 $-69,318 $-31,060
Investment Income, Net of Losses $188,958 $180,190 $259,269
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events $1,209,231 $1,288,729 $1,198,590
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other $16,703 $4,636 --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Program Expense $4,643,997 $2,864,779 $2,403,874
Administration Expense $958,371 $741,854 $673,944
Fundraising Expense $540,368 $497,229 $369,994
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.79 1.10 1.29
Program Expense/Total Expenses 76% 70% 70%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 12% 11% 9%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Assets $8,011,141 $9,026,397 $8,882,708
Current Assets $1,758,339 $2,222,240 $1,611,514
Long-Term Liabilities $276,309 $388,244 $444,024
Current Liabilities $404,729 $331,714 $424,805
Total Net Assets $7,330,103 $8,306,439 $8,013,879

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 3.00

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose Secure multi-unit residence for homeless youth living in transitional programs at Bridge.
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 4.34 6.70 3.79

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 3% 4% 5%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above is per the organization's IRS Form 990s.  Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.



The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.

1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

Through its wrap-around, continuum of care approach to service delivery, Bridge hopes to reach out to runaway, homeless, and high-risk youth  and achieve the following programmatic goals to help youth gain the skills to leave the streets and become product, happy, and healthy adults.

Street Outreach Program + Mobile Medical Van + Clinics: To reach out on the streets and in adult shelters to runaway, homeless and street youth to provide a supportive, trusted presence offering opportunities in order to reduce their risks for long-term homelessness, explore options to street life, and make referrals to appropriate services. Counseling Program: To initiate and maintain positive counseling relationships with runaway, homeless and high-risk youth empowering youth to address personal problems, change their lifestyles, become independent from street life, and build fulfilling, productive futures. Transitional Day Program: To offer homeless youth daily access to safety, survival aid, supportive services and activities on a low-barrier, drop in basis; advocate for youth, help youth take steps to address issues which led to homelessness and street life. Education + Career Development: To provide homeless and high-risk youth alternative education, job readiness skill development, and college and career guidance services to enable youth to acquire and succeed in jobs, vocational training, and secondary and post-secondary education. Emergency Resident + Warming Center: To offer youth a safe, low barrier, short-term residence to help engage youth in services and transition youth to suitable placements after leaving the program—transitional living programs, independent housing, and family reunification. Transitional Living Program + Single Parent House: To provide safe, stable, adult-supervised transitional housing and life skills development services for homeless youth, empowering youth to gain access to permanent housing and build independent, secure lives.


2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

To move youth along the continuum, Bridge counselors are specifically trained in trauma informed, positive youth development approached that engage homeless youth with histories of trauma. They recognize the presence of trauma symptom and acknowledge the role trauma has played in their lives. Bridge has refined its risk assessment process to provide deeper insight into youths' mental and physical health to enhance effective intervention. Bridge supplements well established BASIS-24 with more up-to-date evaluation tools: the Patient Health Questionnaire, to measure depression and anxiety, Drug Use Questionnaire and Alcohol Use Questionnaire to measure use and frequency, and the Working Alliance Inventory to monitor and assess collaborative relationship between counselor and client. Recently, Bridge counselors trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) which is a behavioral therapy aimed at enhancing emotion regulation.
In addition to Bridge counselors, all staff are highly trained in their areas of expertise: case management, education, job development, and administrative.

3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

Bridge has been successfully helping runaway, homeless, and high-risk youth since the 1970 and remains the premier agency in Boston focused on this overlooked population.

4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

Bridge uses Social Solutions ETO Impact Software for data collection and systems management throughout the agency which allows our staff (street outreach workers, counselors, case managers, teachers, fundraisers, and administrators) to develop detailed analytical reports on demographics, risk factors, services provided, and outcomes. Process evaluations track progress by evaluating daily and monthly logs maintained by each program, as well as thorough client notes, service access reviews, staff supervision, team meetings and consultations.Information is gathered through informal surveys, questionnaires, weekly meetings among coordinators and program teams, weekly supervision with the Program Director, and quarterly all-staff meetings. A youth’s feedback is solicited at every stage of their progress.

5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

Bridge measure it accomplishments through programmatic outcomes each year. In FY18, Bridge achieved the following accomplishments:

4,271youth were contact by street outreach workers
768 visits were by youth for counseling sessions
430 visits were made by youth in the Transitional Day Program
6.064 visits were made by youth on the Mobile Medical Van
350 youth were served in the Education and Career Development Program
Over 200 youth were served in Bridge's housing programs. 
Bridge continues to advocate and investigate permanent housing alternatives and remains at the forefront of best practices for mental health treatments for the youth we serve.