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Fairbanks The Bridge continues to connect those in need with resources this holiday season

Published: Dec. 23, 2021 at 4:13 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The holidays are a time of giving and charity, and there are organizations in Fairbanks that keep that spirit alive all year round, The Bridge being one of them.

According to Tundra Greenstreet, Program Services Director for The Bridge, the organization offers several programs to help get those in need back on their feet.

“We have several different programs here at The Bridge that help out in a number of different ways,” Greenstreet explained. “Our population we serve covers any and all from those that are struggling from homelessness and living out in camps and on the streets, or in the shelter. We also help with the population that struggles with substance use, mental health, and we also work a lot with folks that are coming out of incarceration, our reentry population - helping connect them to any resources we can that are going to help them to succeed and get to a better place.”

The Bridge also works closely with other organizations ensure the best care possible for those less fortunate.

“We work pretty closely with a lot of the different housing providers and shelters here in town to kind of help people get off of the street,” Greenstreet continued, “help them get to a place where they can at least be safe and have some level of stability. We work really closely with the Fairbanks Rescue Mission - we are located right across the street from them, so there’s a lot of hand and hand coordination that happens there.”

Among their other programs, The Bridge also works directly with homeless encampments to help guide them to resources available to them according to Greenstreet.

“Our Encampment Outreach program actually goes out to the homeless camps and the little tent communities scattered throughout Fairbanks in various pockets,” Greenstreet elaborated. “We go out and we talk to folks, we engage with them, we build up that rapport, build up some trust, and get them to where they will get to a point where they’re more willing to trust and accept help from various types of social services in the community partners and agencies.”

Greenstreet also told us that community members who would like to contribute to The Bridge have a variety of avenues to pursue.

“We do accept donations,” he said, “so if people do have items that would be useful for the homeless, things like warm clothing, winter gear, camping supplies, and hygiene items. We actually, from a previous winter, we had a huge outpouring of support where a bunch of the community came out and provided a bunch of feminine hygiene products - and I still have like three large bins of that, so I don’t need any of that. But generally anything that can help people stay clean out in the woods - sanitizer, wipes, that kind of thing.”

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