For some, a meal can make all the difference. The Bridge, Dallas County’s homeless recovery center, is making it a goal this month to raise $50,000 to serve about 18,000 meals to the county’s homeless.
“There’s just under 700 guests who we will be able to serve with three meals a day just by raising that amount,” said David Woody, president and CEO of the Bridge.
As Dallas County’s only homeless recovery center, the Bridge provides day and night shelter to individuals experiencing homelessness. The center has also reached individuals in Collin County.
Each year, the center cares for and services 85 percent of the homeless population of Dallas County, and last year The Bridge served meals to over 5,900 individuals.
The center focuses on serving nutritious meals to help many who are struggling with maintaining their health.
“One of the challenges we have … is a lot of the individuals who are homeless come to us with a lot of physical health issues,” Woody said. “Here at the Bridge, not only are we committed to the three meals a day, we’re also committed to folks having a nutritious meal.”
Wood said during a homeless count last year, about 5,000 homeless individuals were identified in Dallas and Collin counties, which is an increase from the previous year.
“The last two years we have seen a 9 percent increase in the number of homeless,” Woody said. “In addition, we had about a 20 percent increase in the number of those not having shelter in the evening. For us here at the bridge, we see that same increase in the number of folks coming to our campus to acquire beyond just getting a meal but using our services.”
In addition to serving meals, the center has a health clinic facilitated by Parkland Hospital and a clinic facilitated by Metrocare for individuals who have behavioral or mental health issues as well as workforce solutions.
“We want to have everything that they would need to facilitate them ending their cycle of homelessness and hopefully also identifying a home of their own. That’s our two goals here at the bridge,” Woody said.
The center hopes to raise the $50,000 by the end of the month.
To donate visit https://app.mobilecause.com/vf/BRIDGEMEALS/.