Bridges’ housing program addresses the dire need for safe and secure housing in the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. We’ve built and repaired thousands of homes in those regions with the help of volunteers on week-long service trips. With sturdy cinderblock walls and a roof attached to the foundation, instead of a wobbling structure cobbled together from scrap lumber and plastic sheeting, the homes we build remain standing after a hurricane. With tile floors instead of damp dirt beneath their feet, children and parents don’t get sick as often. With doors and windows that lock, family members are finally able to go to work and school without worrying about their belongings. Click here to learn more about the amazing ripple effect of building just one house.
Each family that receives a home pays a small monthly quota of $10, for seven years, to a community fund that is used for small business loans, school or home repairs, clinic maintenance and other purposes. Thus, the immediate relief provided by a new home is the catalyst for sustainable community growth. Bridges also works on housing repairs in communities where there is an existing structure, but additional work is needed to make it safe and secure.
The housing selection process is comprehensive. We begin with a large community meeting to explain how the Bridges’ housing program works and what it can mean for them. This is followed by a community-wide door-to-door survey by BTC staff and community leadership. The survey covers key data points such as the number of people living in a house, including children, and broader factors like general health, employment and aspirations (education). The community leadership then assesses the households. The houses in the community are ranked and prioritized based on the level of need and the willingness and ability of the families to work with Bridges to ensure that they have the land title and agree to the terms of paying into the community fund.
Beneficiary Family Testimonial: Maria
“For years I had dreamed of getting just the simplest of materials to improve our house for my children but I couldn’t afford them. Now that Bridges volunteers have given me a real home I think I’ll get custody of my two children again. I can’t wait to have them living under my roof. It will be the happiest thing for me to have them home again. Thank you Bridges for making it possible.” Read Full Story
Beneficiary Family Testimonial: Esmelda
“It was very difficult for us to get the title to our land,” she explained. Esmelda reached out to Bridges who consulted with a lawyer who was able to expedite her case. “It is such a blessing to be receiving this home. It will be such a huge help for our family.” Read Full Story
Beneficiary Family Testimonial: Lenin and Johana
“The place where we were living before had only one room–barely enough space for one bed, and that’s where we all slept. Now, everyone has their own bed, there’s so much more space, and we now even have a small shop in the house where we sell things like soda and bread. Every day we’re moving a bit further–we’ve seen so many changes already.” Read Full Story
Youth Group Leads Effort for Housing Repairs in DR
The youth of both communities helped to lead workshops with community members about the housing repairs project, which will repair 54 homes in the community of Caimonial, addressing 100% of the housing need there. Read Full Story