ABOUT US

The Bridge to Hope is a non-profit organization committed to ending domestic abuse, sexual assault and human trafficking. Our purpose is to empower those who have been effected by violence, provide options, and offer support so that individuals can start a life that is free from abuse.We are available through text or call  24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You are never alone, and we are here for you when you are ready.

Our Mission:

The Bridge to Hope provides support and healing to survivors and families while engaging with the community to recognize and prevent abuse. 

Our Vision:

Is to provide a bridge to hope that creates a safe, more just, and compassionate society.

A Brief History of

The Bridge to Hope

The Bridge to Hope was an outgrowth and result of the passion (and compassion) of a group of local women and men who were concerned about victims of domestic violence in our community, and the sad lack of services for those victims. In 1982 a grassroots movement grew into an incorporated non-profit. Some of our Founding Mothers were Shirley Frederickson, Elaine Fitzgerald, Celia Lausted, Lynn LaVenture, and Bonnie Lindgren.

 

We were originally named the West Central Domestic Abuse Agency, but in 1996 that name was changed to The Bridge to Hope. We have blossomed and grown over the years from a small office in the back of an implement dealership, to an old house at 1901 South Broadway that we opened as a shelter in 1998, to our current building at 2110 4th Ave. NE. We transitioned from being a “secret location” to erecting a sign in 2011, making us very public.

 

In 1982 we served 37 clients.  We have helped many victims and survivors over the years. We welcome everyone, regardless of their gender, age, orientation, religion, race or ability. We now provide services to almost 500 victims each year. Unlike many other shelters, we also welcome pets, and have provided safety to many dogs, cats, and other assorted pets.

 

The Bridge originally housed victims in safe houses of volunteers, but in 1998 The Bridge to Hope opened a residential shelter in a home that had been donated at 1901 South Broadway. Community support enabled us to purchase a larger facility at 2110 4th Ave. in 2017 which expanded the number of emergency bedrooms from 3 to 8. The new building also provided complete accessibility. Our shelter bathrooms also increased from one to five – a real plus! There is a playroom in the shelter, a larger one in the basement and an art room. We have a large backyard with play equipment that is totally surrounded by an eight-foot fence. A healing garden was recently added that includes a water feature and a gas fireplace under a gazebo. Our entire facility has a security system that includes alarms on all doors and windows. In addition to a large parking lot, we also have a smaller one enclosed within our yard for vehicles that need to be hidden.

 

We implemented our 24/7 crisis line in 1998, and in 2013 added a texting line. We have a staff member present at our facility 24/7; there is always someone here to answer the door, respond to a crisis call, or assist someone in shelter. In 2002 we collaborated with Dunn County Health Department to provide forensic exams by licensed nurses following a sexual assault. (Those are now performed by area hospitals.) Our on-call team is available at all times to respond to a call from the hospital when a sexual assault comes in for emergency care. In 2016 we collaborated with all Dunn Co. law enforcement agencies to offer the Lethality Assessment Protocol to insure further safety to victims. (Pepin County also added that program in 2021.) In 2019 we added an office on the UW-Stout campus to better serve students and staff.

 

We serve victims from Dunn and Pepin Counties, as well as anyone who needs our services and reaches out to us for help and support.  Our services are always free and confidential.  The Bridge collaborates with law enforcement and judicial agencies, as well as human services departments, schools and churches. Our ultimate mission is to eliminate domestic violence and sexual assault from all our communities. We offer hope to victims and empower them as they struggle to live a life free of fear, violence, and abuse.

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