Imagine what that means to a youth in foster care who’s never known a truly permanent home. Consider how much stronger an adoptive parent can be with the right resources and support. Picture elders, comfortable in their surroundings and valued as grandparents, mentors, teachers and friends. Every role is important, every relationship beneficial. Three generations, stronger together.
That’s Bridge Meadows — an intentional intergenerational living community — where youth formerly in foster care, their adoptive parents, and elders find a true home built with love and a shared vision of a better tomorrow.
Youth move from the instability and trauma of foster care to permanent homes with families. Their adoptive parents grow into stronger, more confident providers. Elders find safe, affordable housing and the chance to use their wisdom and experience to make a life-changing difference.
Bridge Meadows has proven the urban model of how you can create these total communities that are helping foster youth be safe and successful and do well in school. Perhaps most importantly, they demonstrate the power of permanence that comes from having a safe and stable home and family. That is really what so many of these kids are missing in the life. The City of Portland is better off with Bridge Meadows raising the bar for how we serve foster children in our shared community.
When I think of community, I think of a group of people with a common background or with shared interests. Yet, we are individuals with unique qualities and talents. We all make up this wonderful intentional support system we call Bridge Meadows.
To see the gleam in a child’s eye — the happiness, the wonder, the growth — that’s the greatest gift of happiness in my life.
We grow from within
We believe that an intentional community built around caring, connected and empowered individuals can heal and enrich all the lives within it. Bridge Meadows isn’t just a place where people “live.” It’s where people find — or regain — hope, connection and family.
Life at Bridge Meadows is shared meals, conversations and playtime. A summer evening stroll after tending the community garden. And yes, it’s errands, bills, homework, new jobs and big challenges. Because it’s real life with all of its bumps and beauty and we get through it together with the love and support that can make each new day more hopeful than the last.
Our community itself becomes a form of intervention, where sole reliance on outside social services isn’t necessary because the community is a support system where residents look out for and care for another. Adoptive parents take elders to the grocery store and pick up their prescriptions while out running their own errands. Elders care for youth after school and help them with their homework while parents are at work. Youth visit elders when sick or just to hang out.
It works because every generation’s unique needs are intentionally addressed and thoughtfully met, right where we live. The sum is greater than the whole of its parts.
Safer. Stronger. Prospering.
Bridge Meadows’ whole-community approach gives meaning and purpose to our youth, parents and elders and helps move lives forward. As a result, they experience: