‘Thoughtful Thursday’- Bridge and Beyond

‘Thoughful Thursday’ focus this week is Bridge and Beyond.

Their mission is to warm cold homeless people in need by providing hand knitted and crocheted items for men and women living outdoors in cold central Ohio (Bridge people), for women and children in desperate circumstance treated in 2 free clinics, abused and or homeless women living in temporary housing through Faith Mission, Men sleeping a night in The Shelter through Faith Mission, Families receiving a hot meal through Holy Family; and Homeless Families (men, women and children) living in temporary housing through The Homeless Families Foundation. Hats, Scarves, Mittens, and Slippers hand knit or crocheted accepted all year long.

The average age of a homeless person Nationally is a 9 year old child. There are many stories of how families become homeless and their struggles. A sad statistic is the children. Children typically fall 2 years behind their counterparts in school. When you don’t know if you’ll have a roof over your head, a bed to sleep in, or a meal it’s awfully hard to focus on learning. The Foundation provides the safety net of a place to live (temporary housing for up to 3 months), they also provide day to day essentials. While counselors work with the adults to provide them with the tools they need to successfully care for their families (jobs and housing), they work with the children; planting the seeds of hope. After school programs, and summer programs provide safe, educational and enrichment programs to help the children reach their potential. Hot meals are provided, along with homework assistance through the Dowd Center.

How can knitters help?

The most obvious way to help is to knit or crochet hats, scarves, mittens, slippers, and squares patterns are available on the website,
below is a list of what is needed:

The Bridge Folks There are no specific patterns that must be followed for hats, mittens, or scarves. Please remember the primary focus is men (and some women) living outdoors without a roof over their heads; so light airy objects aren’t good. Colors appropriate for Men and Women (adults), as well as sizes appropriate for adults are needed. Please stick with yarns that need no special care or washing instructions, as the homeless do not have that ability. Avoid suede yarn. Wool yarn is acceptable but Please leave a note so they know it’s wool. Most useable yarn is acyclic and washable wool.

Avoid the use of white, as it shows dirt too easily

Beyond The Bridge This means helping beyond those who live under the bridge, reaching out beyond those limits. For now beyond the bridge means our folks being treated in 2 free clinics. Though they have a roof over their heads, they are very much in need. Many have no heat, or very little heat and so wear the warm items (mittens, hats, scarves, slippers) indoors as well as outdoors. Here again think warm, sturdy; non lacy patterns. Sizing and colors should be appropriate for Women and Teens, and children. Babies are NOT treated at these clinics.
Holy Family Hats, mittens, scarves, and slippers for men, women, and children needed. Holy Family feeds hundreds of hungry cold people in need every single day. Warm items can be distributed along with a hot meal. All colors except lots of white and ivory, warm patterns work (no lacy items). Please again keep in mind warm, washable, sturdy.
The Homeless Families Foundation Men, Women, and Children are cared for. Temporary housing is providedfor 47 families. They live in their temporary housing for up to 3 months while receiving support and guidance to locate jobs, permanent housing, care for children after school and other necessary things to get back on their feet. On going support is provide as they transition into their permanent housing. Our standard, hats, scarves, mittens, slippers will be provided; as well as afghans through our donated squares. PLEASE see guidelines for squares regarding size, and months to donate them.

Operation WELCOME HOME  will be an on going program. It will utilize the squares that have been sent and will  be sent. Afghans will continue to be assembled and donated; just as they have always done through the Give a Square Program.  These afghans will be given as a house warming gift to the families as they move from The Homeless Families Foundation Shelter (temporary housing for 3 months) into “their” home/apt. These afghans will be a true welcome home, and welcome to your new life.

Families receive assistance with education, food, lodging and guidance through out their stay in temporary housing to help with the transition to permanent housing-employment etc.

There are other ways you can help too:
Tell everyone you know about the cause. Tell your friends, neighbors, relatives.
Post the link to http://homelessbridge.blogspot.comin your emails, and or on your blog. Add their blog badge to your blog, to your facebook page. Tweet about them. Print and distribute the flyer found in a tab across the top of the blog.
Buy yarn for someone you know who knits or crochets
Post information in your church bulletin
Socks, store bought socks are needed all year long. Wet feet are miserable all year long.
There are many cold hungry homeless in many cities across the country. Is there a group in your area you can help? Please help to raise the awareness of this sad problem.

2012 Working Calendar

January’s focus will be mittens. Please label mittens as to the size you made, adult, male, female, child, small, medium, or large etc. If the pattern you’re using doesn’t have a long cuff, please add a couple of rows to make it longer. Please attach your mittens to each other. Please avoid white, off-white, ivory. AND please avoid open lacy stitches.

February’s focus will be slippers (please consider making slippers with double thickness yarn, or make 2 and sew them together; to make them thicker and more durable…as well as warmer. Please label your slippers as to the intended size (men, women, children, small, medium, large and or extra large). Avoid White, off-white, and ivory please. Please avoid open loose stitches for slippers. Please attach your slippers to each other.

March’s focus will be scarves. Please consider the size of your scarf and who it’s intended for. Adult scarves should be at least 5 inches wide and at least 5 feet long for women, and at least 6 feet long for Men. Please avoid making small scarves that can’t be doubled around someone’s neck for warmth. Scarves should not be made for toddlers or younger children. If you use double yarn, please consider laundering it as that helps soften it. Again please avoid white and off white, please avoid open airy stitches (remember…if you can poke your finger through it, it’s too open).

Contact sandycrochet@gmail.com with questions regarding how you can help and for mailing address to mail your donations to. PLEASE include your name, email address with your donation.
Please visit the web site: http://homelessbridge.blogspot.com there’s lots more information!
This is a grassroots organization, run completely voluntarily. No paid staff exists and 100% of your donations are hand delivered to those in need. This effort continues 12 months a year. During the warmer months, they’re able to stock pile donations to be ready as soon as the cold hits.
Join the Bridge and Beyond and help build a bridge from Homelessness to Hope!
Please Help if You Can
If you would like the free pattern ‘Knitting for Charity’ please leave your email address in the box at the base of this blog. I promise to respect your privacy and will not pass your email address on.
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