Day Hub programming currently takes place inside the nighttime shelter. The renovated Day Hub Center, located in the central part of the school, will essentially double the size of the shelter, and include a central hub for case management, a computer lab and offices.
Part of Bridges’ case management work is helping those who are “overwhelmed” by the amount of social services an individual has to deal with, said Will Urschel, a city council member and president of Bridges of Hope’s board of directors.
“Everybody’s got their little niche. Our goal is to be the ‘omnibus man’ that’s going to help people walk through this,” he said.
The Day Hub will also facilitate classes in life skills, like finance and resume building, as well as things like art, painting or sewing. Offerings that move somebody’s life forward are important, Conkel said, but sometimes it’s just about getting the individual out of survival mode.
“It’s just getting the mind thinking again,” she said. “Getting the brain back to functioning. It’s saying, ‘I’m enjoying this, there are good things in life.’ There is more than just surviving.”
Bridges also has partnered with local churches to do a Sunday service on a rotating basis, as well as conducting Bible study and other community-based activities. The faith-based components, and the hiring of a part-time director for that, will be funded by local churches, and not through public money, Urschel said.
“The faith community are good pools of folks that have wisdom. Many people we come in contact with have nobody that has any wisdom or stability in their current community group,” he said. “The ARPA money principally is going to provide the environment for the Day Hub and staffing.”
Bridges plans to open the renovated Day Hub section by June 1. Bridges has plans to be open as a 24/7 shelter by the end of 2023, and be self-sustaining by 2024.
“Everyone in the organization — the volunteers, the staff, the board — we’re all just really excited about where we’re at,” Urschel said.