History of Bridge Communities
When Mark Milligan and Bob Wahlgren rented that first apartment for a homeless family, they really did not know this act of kindness would take their lives in down a new road. Twenty years later, they would be joined on this road by many who would volunteer to help others in need. Together, all would journey the road toward a better life.
In 1988, the idea to provide housing and intensive life-skills mentoring to homeless families was met with a degree of skepticism. Many doubted that two businessmen could change how the community responded to and served homeless families. But Mark and Bob's visionary model, joining each homeless family with a volunteer mentor and professional case manager, has changed the lives of thousands. Bridge has grown and expanded its services during the past two decades, but the commitment to creating change in the lives of homeless families has never wavered.
Bridge Communities has become a regional and national leader in the service to homeless families, as well as the surrounding issues that lead to homelessness, such as lack of affordable housing and well-paid labor jobs. Bridge Communities has counseled and mentored many non-profits, churches and lay-person organizations on establishing a transitional housing program based on this innovative model.
According to the DuPage Homeless Continuum of Care, more than 71,000 DuPage County residents are living in poverty and just one paycheck away from homelessness. More than 24,000 of them are children.