Mission & Vision
The mission of Bridge of Hope Ministries comes directly from the biblical text, Isaiah 61:1. “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, Because the Lord has anointed and commissioned me To bring good news to the humble and afflicted; He has sent me to bind up [the wounds of] the brokenhearted, To proclaim release [from confinement and condemnation] to the [physical and spiritual] captives And freedom to prisoners,”. As a faith-based organization, we believe our mission is to share God’s love for all unhoused or housing insecure individuals regardless, of age, gender, race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or faith tradition. A part of that love is restoring hope to the people we get to serve while reminding them of their inherent worth and value. The next step is to walk alongside these individuals while helping them navigate and overcome the barriers that keep them from stability.
To achieve this mission, Bridge of Hope will:
- Transform the lives of homeless individuals by providing integrative services in a safe and secure environment, and access to secure housing
- Advocate for equitable access to health care and housing for homeless individuals
- Advocate and support the revitalization of the Ville and Greater Ville community to the prominence of St Louis’ African-American community
Bridge of Hope Ministries (BOH) was founded in 2001 by missionaries, Stephen, and Robin Boda. What was intended to begin as a new church plant in one of St. Louis City’s most disinvested neighborhoods, became a haven for the unhoused and housing insecure after intentional conversations to understand the community’s needs. Shortly after its inception, BOH acquired the former Williams Elementary school to begin rendering services. For more than 20 years, BOH has provided basic services such as a place to come out of the inclement weather and rest, receive a hot meal, toiletries, shower, washer and dryer access, a clothing room, and literacy education. The objective was to make space for those who the larger community deemed a nuisance.
In 2020, BOH underwent a massive leadership change from the founders to a new Executive and Board of Directors. Amid a global pandemic, the new leadership evaluated the programs and services to understand what was most impactful and essential in helping clients achieve health and economic stability. After a few months of going through an intensive strategic planning process, BOH leaders made the decision to narrow its focus to a single program, The Bridge Program, that could yield the highest results in moving clients towards sobriety, permanent housing, accessible and equitable healthcare, and job training. This programmatic change shifted BOH from being a basic needs drop-in shelter to becoming a Bridge Program that advocates for and navigates challenging bureaucratic systems that keep the unhoused and housing insecure from receiving needed services, as well as a plan of care where we walk alongside clients from instability to stability. The expectation is graduation from our program.
The underpinning of this ministry is God’s love for all, especially those who find themselves on the margins, as well as inspiring hope for a brighter future! Over the years Bridge of Hope has become a place where the unhoused feel safe, loved, seen, and unafraid to fail forward.