Giving Back

Bridges Outreach Celebrates 25 Years of Feeding Homeless

e4e8791e176f1c06a507_Outreach.JPG
458a4421505cad00da4f_Lunch_Making.jpg
06a3135fbff8c69cc114_Geoff_Ginger.JPG
Ginger and Geoff Worden, the founders of Bridges Outreach.
bf17c029f5d310cb757e_Coalition_barber.JPG
721d0b730f8423cc01b5_2013_Honorees.jpg
​Top, from left: Sarah Rosen, Kathryn Radutzky, Pam Gumport, Susan Tully. Bottom, from left: Janice Beckmen, Geoff Worden, Ginger Worden. Not pictured: Chris Jordan.  
e4e8791e176f1c06a507_Outreach.JPG

 

SUMMIT, NJ – Bridges Outreach this year commemorates a quarter-century of providing food and comfort to the homeless in urban areas of New Jersey and New York.

But the impetus for Bridges Outreach began in the suburban home of a Summit couple, Geoff and Ginger Worden, in 1988. The Wordens were inspired to load up their car with coffee, soup and sandwiches and set out for Brooklyn to provide some nourishment and attention for the homeless in the city. They arrived at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge with their care package — prompting the name, “Bridges Outreach” — and a legacy was born.

Sign Up for E-News

From that point on, the Wordens made their treks to the city a regular part of their schedule, and homeless citizens in New York City came to look forward to and expect their visits. Now, Bridges Outreach, which has swelled to a group of 1,500 or so volunteers and more than 70 groups, makes regularly scheduled weekly runs to provide food to homeless people in New York, Newark and Irvington.

“I grew up in Summit and went through the Summit Public School system. I was lucky to go on Bridges' first run into Newark, which is now in the weekly rotation,” said Amanda Block, a board member of Bridges Outreach. “Inspired in part by my experiences with Bridges, I became an advocate for the homeless 10 years ago. Now a Summit resident once again, I sit on the board of Bridges.  It is my delight and honor to witness my own generation moved to support Bridges because of their experience as high school volunteers.”

From the Wordens’ home, Bridges Outreach eventually moved its headquarters to Christ Church in Summit, and Bridges Outreach is currently housed in Oakes Memorial Center.

“Once Bridges support branched out beyond the Wordens, Summit friends and neighbors were the ones to do the outreach runs,” Block said. “Summit schools, places of worship and community service organizations have enlivened and grown the outreach. Thanks to the location of Oakes Memorial, and its proximity to those in need and the generosity of our local donors, Bridges can now serve Summit's underserved on Fridays with food, clothing and other basic necessities.”

Over the years, the organization has grown steadily, adding more runs and stop locations along with way.  In 1996, Bridges added Newark to its weekly run schedule.  In 2002, Irvington was added.

“This generation coming up in high school now has taken good advantage of their affiliation with Bridges to create the Teens Tackle Homelessness Conference,” Block said. “Entirely organized by local high school students, the conference is an opportunity for teens to discuss poverty and interface with the formerly homeless. This year, the conference took place at Kent Place School in February with a record attendance rate of 140 teens.”

Two years ago, Bridges launched the Coalition of Services for the homeless and indigent of Newark. More than 20 agencies convene on a monthly basis, offering on-site medical exams and referral for treatment, testing for HIV and screening for diabetes and high blood pressure. Experienced outreach and social workers set individuals up with the specific services they need to make the transition away from the streets, including legal services; drug treatment; psychiatric, medical, and family services; and temporary and transitional shelters with the ultimate goal of permanent housing.

“Bridges's history has always been connected to Summit,” Block said. “Summit's generosity and enthusiasm to serve are as much a part of Bridges as its 25-year history of outreach runs.” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Summit

To Our Current and Future Representatives

July 17, 2018

To Our Current and Future Representatives - Wherever They May Be:

We can never forget we are a nation of immigrants. 

We cannot fall prey to fear, ignorance and anger when we  have been historically driven by freedom and justice. 

We must have the courage and will to fight hate, bigotry and prejudice. 

We must not wake up to what we hoped was a bad dream and ...

Summit Police Blotter

July 9, 2018

6/19 - Peter Ferguson, 31, of New York, New York was arrested on a contempt of court warrant out of Point Pleasant Beach. Mr. Ferguson posted bail and was provided a new court date.

6/22 - At 1552 hours a report was taken for a theft of one thousand (1,000) mops from Overlook Hospital. The reporting individual indicated the theft occurred between 6/10 and 6/21. Taken from a storage area ...

Challenge Your Children with the Summit YMCA's Fun-Size Development Program!

July 16, 2018

“The future belongs to those who prepare for it today” - Malcolm X

The Summit Area YMCA recognizes the potential in every child. We strive to provide the environment and resources for all youth to learn, grow, and thrive. With nurturing and supportive staff, enriching curriculum and programs, and a strong built-in value system, children are able to not only reach ...

Video: Point View's Petrides Talks Netflix's Cash Burn as Company Reports Earnings

Point View Wealth Management's Managing Director and Portfolio Manager, John Petrides, live on Cheddar.com discussing Netflix's earnings report and why the streaming service should dilute shareholders to plug its cash burn.

cheddar.com/videos/netflix-earnings-preview

​​​​​​For more than 25 years, Point View Wealth Management, Inc. has been ...

Fear of Rising Rates? Remember The Reason You Own Bonds

If the current interest environment has you concerned about your bond portfolio, remember why you are investing in bonds.  The role bonds, or fixed income, play in a portfolio is not solely based on performance.  Bonds are used to offer stability, particularly when stock market volatility is rising. Rate hikes can dampen bond performance, but keep perspective on how rising rates impact ...

Are You Ready for Your Child to Turn 18?

If your son or daughter is turning 18, here are a few things you need to know:

If you have an UGMA/UTMA savings account for your child, did you know those assets are his/her legal property and once that instrument matures (most often 21 years old or 18, if you designated that at time of account creation), those assets are at your child’s disposal with no restrictions or ...

Extra Time

It was close to 70 minutes into the match and I had to go to the bathroom.  Badly.

As fans watching the World Cup know too well, bathroom breaks are a serious dilemma, especially for those who don’t have a TV in the loo.  This biological necessity is exasperated by beer, which during World Cup matches also fuels a strong propensity to throw chairs and instigate riots.