The Bridge Receives $295,000 for Technology Initiative

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With generous funding from Target Corporation, Microsoft Corporation, Fidelity Foundation, and Wells Fargo CMES Giving Council, The Bridge for Youth is pleased to announce the launch of its Youth in Crisis Technology initiative.

The initiative will focus on developing electronic records, and web and text-based services all designed to improve how services are delivered to at-risk youth and Bridge for Youth clients.

A journey to The Bridge’s subterranean basement in the Emergency Shelter would reveal boxes and boxes of handwritten client files in a vast basement storage system. The Youth in Crisis Technology initiative will replace these manual records with an easily accessed electronic system. This same system will improve client intake, assessment, and development of client care plans.

Youth in Crisis Technology Project funds will also add texting capability to The Bridge for Youth’s 24-hour crisis line. Texting is the top means of communication among teens. 63% of teens send messages every day according to a recent study by Pew Internet and American Life Project. “Many kids would prefer texting over phone calling when they’re in a crisis,” said Dan Pfarr, Executive Director at The Bridge for Youth. “It might feel safer to tell someone via text that you’ve been kicked out of the house or that you’ve been a victim of violence”.

Cloud technology will enable kids with mobile phones to get real time data on how many beds are available at The Bridge. This tool will be helpful for social workers who send teens in crisis to The Bridge. They can be assured that a space is available, make a phone call, and better serve that young person.

RBA Consulting, a Twin Cities based Microsoft partnered consulting firm, will be spearheading the development, testing, and roll-out for this project. In partnership with The Bridge, RBA seeks to raise an additional $55,000 for the project before year-end.

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