The Bridge for Youth was founded in 1970 when Sister Rita Steinhagen saw a problem, cared, and responded. She noticed a growing number of unaccompanied youth on the streets of Minneapolis who were increasingly vulnerable to exploitation, prostitution, violence, and illness.
Responding to the need, and with the support of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, Sister Rita opened The Bridge in the West Bank neighborhood, one of the nation’s first refuges for runaway and homeless youth. The Bridge relocated to the East Isles neighborhood in 1975. In the decades that followed, tens of thousands of youth and their families have benefited from the innovative and comprehensive services of The Bridge.
The Bridge for Youth’s mission is to provide runaway and homeless youth safe shelter, assist in the prevention and resolution of family conflicts and reunify families whenever possible.
The Bridge for Youth will be a premier resource for diverse populations of youth and families needing help by offering:
¨ Support that empowers
¨ Safe shelter
¨ Sustainable tools for success and restorations of relationships, and,
¨ When possible, reunification
- Focus: Our commitment to youth and families drives everything we do.
- Excellence: We are relentless in our pursuit of greatness.
- Service: Our mission will be at the core of every decision we make.
- Village: We cannot do this alone and are part of a broader web committed to protecting runaway and homeless youth.
- Integrity: We meet our commitments and are ethical, responsible stewards of our resources.
- Teamwork: All of us are part of a team and each of us individually will do everything we can to make sure the entire team succeeds.
- Rooted: We will be nimble and adaptable while maintaining our core.
- Inclusive: Diversity in thought, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, economic status, political orientations and ideas is our greatest resource.
- Bold: We are not afraid to ask hard questions and face difficult realities.
- Lighthouse: The clients we serve may be in crisis but our organization will not operate from a crisis point of view.