In the Community: Spotlight on Bridge Meadows

NW Natural nonprofit Programs of Focus 2017-2019

 

Helping kids thrive in an intergenerational community

A community in North Portland is proving that it takes a village to raise a child. In an attractive, well-maintained complex known as Bridge Meadows, 30 children formerly in foster care are thriving with their adoptive parents and a loving circle of 30 elders.

Designed to serve children, families and seniors, Bridge Meadows provides more than just affordable housing. The bonds forged between the people who live there change lives.

Sisters Little Reba (left) and Lydia (right) are thriving at Bridge Meadows with their grandmother, Reba (center).
Sisters Little Reba (left) and Lydia (right) are thriving at Bridge Meadows with their grandmother, Reba (center). 

Take Reba, for example. When her two granddaughters – “Little” Reba and Lydia – were removed from their home, they came to live with her. While living in a less-than-ideal environment, Reba heard about Bridge Meadows: She applied and was accepted. Now the family lives in a safe, comfortable townhouse where the girls have blossomed and flourished. With help from elders, Little Reba has discovered her artistic talents and Lydia has honed her reading skills.

The caring, multi-generational support network has been good for Reba, too. Since joining the community, she has earned a bachelor’s degree, is pursuing a master’s degree and gives back by preparing a weekly community meal.

Blue skies bring families and friends out to play on the Bridge Meadows lawn.
Blue skies bring families and friends out to play on the Bridge Meadows lawn.

Bridge Meadows Executive Director, Dr. Derenda Schubert, is in awe. “In my entire career, I’ve not seen kids heal so quickly from trauma as I have in the past six years at Bridge Meadows. The power of a stable family and a web of community support creates an environment of safety and security that allows our children to not merely survive but thrive!”

The team behind Bridge Meadows is working to replicate the model. In Beaverton, a new community is under construction, and in North Portland, New Meadows will provide affordable housing for teens aging out of foster care.

Bridge Meadows is one of NW Natural’s five nonprofit Programs of Focus for 2017-2019. The organization will receive $35,000 per year for three years, plus in-kind resources and volunteer support from NW Natural employees.

» Want to support Bridge Meadows? Visit Bridge Meadows or call 503-953-1100 to learn how to make a donation.