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Isabel McDevitt: Building a Better Bridge for the Homeless

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Bridge House’s Ready to Work House and Employment Center opened its doors for the first time in 2015 and under the leadership of Isabel McDevitt and this program for the homeless that began working in the community of Boulder just three years ago has brought the homeless that sought help from Bridge House’s Ready to Work to a point in life that many never thought they would reach and it’s a part of life than many people wouldn’t consider a struggle in their day-to-day life, having a place to call home.Boulder Library

Bridge House Ready to Work employment program that provides paid work opportunities to individuals re-entering the workforce after being out of the workforce for a very long time. So long, in fact, that having references, a work history, or just being connected to a community is more than a challenge, it becomes an impasse. These challenges are met by the Ready to Work resident together with Bridge House Case Management to find what obstacles stand in their way and what’s required to overcome them.

For residents accepted into the Ready to Work program living at the Ready to Work facility isn’t an option, it’s a requirement. From the moment they are given an acceptance date to enter the Ready to Work program and for approximately one year after that point the resident will be working, participating in case management, financial management and vocational development as a condition of residency.

All residents of Ready to Work will be provided paid work for up to 29 hours per week, attend classes, pay room and board, and participate in maintaining the Ready to Work facility.

Since Ready to Work operates two separate businesses – exterior maintenance and food service, there are a variety of job positions open to residents of Ready to Work during their time in the program.

With the success that Bridge House has had with Ready to Work in Boulder it made sense to branch out and offer their expertise somewhere other than Boulder and here shortly in late Winter of 2018 Ready to Work is opening a new House and Employment Center at 3176 S Peoria Ct, in Aurora, Colorado to replicate the same success for the community of Aurora that the Ready to Work program has been making possible in Boulder since it first opened in 2015.

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Isabel McDevitt is the Chief Executive Officer of Bridge House in Boulder as well as the creator and ongoing developer of Ready to Work and their House & Employment Centers for the homeless.