Bridges of Hope

Improving the Lives of People in Poverty

Bridges of Hope is a community wide initiative designed to move people out of poverty into self-sufficiency by developing a mindset that enables them to build a network of resources within the community.

The Bridges of Hope initiative offers a unique understanding of economic diversity that can give individuals, families, and communities new ways of solving problems.

The initiative is an educational process that informs the community about what is needed to address the issues of poverty in such a way that individuals in generational poverty may truly be helped to rise to a more stable, self-sufficient lifestyle.


Bridges of Hope 2020 Graduation.

Bringing About Change

Poverty is described as the degree to which a person does without resources . . . so, building resources is a key goal of the Bridges Community.

Bridges of Hope brings about change by following the guidelines established by the Bridges Out Of Poverty program:

  • Developing Support Systems
  • Using Disciplined Strategies
  • Using Mental Models
  • Mentoring
  • Revealing HIDDEN RULES
  • Identifying Options
  • Sharing Coping Strategies
  • Increasing Achievement Levels
  • Teaching Goal Setting

Change is accomplished through a 20 week course facilitated locally by certified trainers in Bridges out of Poverty concepts complemented by ongoing mentoring. The client is guided to recognize predators, strategize out of debt, and build “future stories” for a better quality of life.

Bridges of Hope brings together individuals, agencies, all economic classes, and community policy makers to get to the root of poverty in our area.

Poverty Statistics

Four Main Causes of Poverty

1. Individual behavior and/or Poor Choices
2. Lack of Human & Social Capital
3. Exploitation of Money Changers
4. Political/Economical Structures


  • Oklahoma ranks 8th in the nation for residents living in poverty.

  • Oklahoma ranks 4th in the percentage of children living in Extreme Poverty.

  • In Delaware County 19.9% of individuals live in poverty vs. 15.7% in Oklahoma.

  • Delaware County has 33.4% of children living in poverty: With an estimated 201,000 in the state of Oklahoma.

“We would always encourage the clients of the Community Sentencing Program to participate in your programs.
You provide a very needed service to the community.”

Judge Barry Denny

Getting Ahead Program

With the help of Judge Alicia Littlefield, Bridges is expanding the Getting Ahead Program to include individuals in the Community who want and need to plan for a more stable future.

Over 16-20 weekly sessions, the Getting Ahead program helps low-income adults transition into self-sufficiency by facilitating a process for people to investigate economic realities, examine their own lives, complete a self-assessment of resources and make plans to build on them. Through this co-investigative process, participants learn to take responsibility for their decisions and lives. The program also shows its participants how to use the hidden rules of middle class to build up personal resources and create social capital (connections in/to the middle class) that help them transition to self-sufficiency. Getting Ahead does not provide answers or arguments for change . . . instead it generates motivation, insight and plans from the participants themselves. Upon completion of the program, participants have a renewed sense of hope and have gained the self-confidence to execute a plan of their own to create a “new future story.” Subsequent to the program, graduates are matched with subject-matter mentors to provide role models and be a resource in a specific area of need.

What Will I Learn

Participants will:

  • Research the causes of poverty, *learn the hidden rules of economic class,
  • Investigate how to develop resources *examine the stages of change,
  • Explore resources that are needed for a higher quality of life.

What Can I Expect

Participants will:

  • Co‐investigate in a safe environment weekly or bi‐weekly with others experiencing poverty.
  • Enjoy power that comes from solving problems, controlling their own lives, and making plans for stability.
  • Receive incentives for their work, including materials, a workbook, snacks, supplies & lots of support.
  • Each group is led by a trained facilitator and co‐facilitator. The co‐facilitator is a GA investigator who has graduated from the program; they will help develop plans and new strategies to implement the investigator’s plan.

Who Can Participate

Individuals living in generational or situational poverty who want to get ahead.

How Do I Sign Up?

You may sign up by contacting Nancy Edwards 918-257-1230.

What Happens After I Graduate?
  • You will have a greater understanding of yourself, your community, & the resources needed to work on your plan.
  • You become a member of a large organization committed to ending poverty in our community in our lifetime.
  • You can stay connected through membership meetings and Bridges Out of Poverty events.
  • You can join decision‐making groups (boards and committees) and feel comfortable in these roles.
  • You can get support for working towards self‐sufficiency.

Graduation 2020

Click an image to begin slideshow.


Share This