Bridges Out of Poverty defines poverty as 'a lack of resources'

They emphasis 11 resources that are foundational to building a stable life:

                                                                       1. Financial

                                                                      2. Emotional

                                                                      3. Mental/Cognitive

                                                                      4. Language

                                                                      5. Social Capital

                                                                      6. Physical

                                                                      7. Spiritual

                                                                      8. Integrity and Trust

                                                                      9. Motivation and Persistence

                                                                     10. Relationship/Role Models

                                                                      11. Knowledge of Hidden Rules

Research has shown that out of these 11 resources the one that most often serves to lead someone out of poverty is a positive relationship/role model. This is why we emphasis training and equipping our volunteer TEAM with the tools they need to walk alongside our under-resourced friends in a way that is healthy and helpful.  

Our TEAM is our greatest resource.

                                                                           T - together

                                                                           E - empathizing

                                                                           A - assisting

                                                                           M - modeling

90% of our volunteer TEAM are local to Bradford. They live here, shop here, eat here and are connected here. 

Our TEAM knows Bradford and seeks to connect our friends in need with Bradford resources and if Bradford does not offer them, we look to partner with other agencies in South Simcoe that do. 

More than a Cafe

When our TEAM first opened the Out of the Cold Cafe on November 1st 2020 our hope was to simply provide a hot cup of coffee and a warm meal to anyone in need. As word on the street spread and trust was developed, people began to come and kept coming. During the various COVID lock downs we were deemed an essential service and  kept our doors open because our TEAM stepped up and were willing to keep serving in person. As the only service provider in Bradford with in-person support our TEAM sought to adapt and come up with creative solutions to help trouble shoot with people. Computers, printers and fax capability were added as well as a semi-private space where TEAM members could assist people with assessments, interviews and intakes. Our TEAM has learned a lot about housing needs and has successfully assisted 14 individuals find long term housing in our first 6 months during a pandemic! (that number has grown to 34 individuals). 

We are so proud of their efforts and willingness to go the extra mile to assist people. 

We have also learned the beauty of collaboration!  Working with other South Simcoe agencies like SHIFT (formerly Alliston Out of the Cold - AOTC), CONTACT Community Services, Developmental Services Ontario (DSO) has allowed us to provide those who come through our doors with even greater support. These agencies have provided housing and harm reductions workers who have offered services both in-person as well as over the phone. 

We are privileged to also be a part of the South Simcoe chapter of the Simcoe County Alliance to End Homelessness (SCATEH). This group is highly motivated to work together to develop and implement creative solutions to end homelessness in South Simcoe.