Official 2019 IGNITE Office Space Contestant, David Droll with Hope Beyond Bridges
Year Established: 2008
Outreach Type: Homeless Outreach
Give a brief history of your nonprofit’s story. Please include how and why it was established, and who has been involved.
I founded 45 & Hope which would later become Hope Beyond Bridges in July of 2008 with two Christian friends to address the growing homeless population in the greater Houston area. Our focus has always been on the peripheral of Houston, outside the 610 loop to the suburbs. We have been serving along I-45 the longest with more than 550 consecutive Saturdays. Over the years, we have developed relationships with local churches allowing us to expand our outreach to SH290, SH245 and FM1960. Ultimately we would like to see outreach teams circumferentially around Houston. We hope to launch our newest routes along SH59 soon. We prepare a hot, nutritious meal and head out to the streets and overpasses of Houston to meet the homeless right where they are. To meet felt needs of shoes, clothing, hunger, hygiene, etc. but more importantly to build relationships. Our belief is “they (the homeless) don’t care what you know until they know you care”. We want to build trust and earn the right to speak into their lives as our own family and friends speak into our lives. We see them, we acknowledge them, we call them by their name, we want to hear their story. After 10 years of walking with the homeless, we have learned most of their stories are wrought with some sort of trauma from childhood, teenage, or young adult years which ultimately leads to substance abuse and addiction.
We started Hope Beyond Bridges because of the need to minister to the marginalized, forgotten individuals who call Houston streets and bridges their home.
What outreach or services does your nonprofit offer?
Hope Beyond Bridges serves the homeless right where they are, under the bridges around Houston. Every Saturday, our volunteers and community partners provide basic necessities to the homeless we meet; giving them a hearty meal, clothing, and hygiene kits. But we don’t just feed their basic physical needs, we feed their spirit. Through shared prayers and conversation, we build trust, we build relationships, one meal and one prayer at a time.
What is your ultimate goal for your nonprofit?
Eradicate homelessness in the greater Houston area. Crazy lofty goal right! Our belief is that building relationships with those on the streets is imperative to earn trust and earn the right to speak into their lives in a way that affects change. Changed hearts about who they really are, changed minds about what they want out of life, changed attitudes toward pursing sobriety and their ability to be successful. They learn to love themselves, believe in themselves and trust others to help them off the streets and exit homelessness.
– David Droll, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Hope Beyond Bridges