The Bridge accommodates children from birth to 18 years of age. During their time with us, all their necessities are provided, including but not limited to food, clothing, shelter, recreation, job training, advocacy, education, medical attention, and counseling. We provide a safe and structured environment for these children, allowing them time to heal and grow. We have and operate a 12 bed facility. The Bridge is a six-bedroom, three-bathroom home, located in a confidential location. There is plenty of living space, yard space, spacious dining facilities, and various forms of recreation (i.e. books, games, etc.). Referrals are taken from number of sources, including but not limited to the Department of Family and Children Services, the Department of Juvenile Justice, law enforcement, juvenile court, and family members. We do accept all runaway and homeless youth, but most of our children are confirmed cases of abuse and neglect. Aftercare Services are offered to clients for up to 6 months.
The Transitional Living Program provides a safe and stable home for youth transitioning out of foster care or those youth who are homeless, between the ages of 18 and 21. This program aims to transition these disadvantaged youth into productive citizens in the community. The participants are placed into scattered-site apartments where the basic necessities (i.e. food, clothing, and shelter costs) are provided for them until they eventually phase out of the program in graduated phases. The phases consist of assuming financial responsibility for their living expenses, one bill at a time, until they are able to assume all financial obligations successfully and independently. Youth are required to work and have the option to attend school while working. Youth are enrolled in a mandatory savings plan that ensures that before they exit the program, they have a savings account balance that is able to cover at least three months of living expenses. Youth are assessed at intake to develop a written plan that includes youth needs, strengths, goals and objectives while in the program. Progress is evaluated monthly by our trained and professional staff. At exit, youth are expected to have achieved the goals in the plan as well as the overall goals of the design of this program. This program has seen great success in changing the lives of young adults in this area. Open Arms, Incorporated is the only provider for the Transitional Living Program for Runaway and Homeless Youth in Southwest Georgia. Aftercare Services are offered to clients for up to 6 months.
The Street Outreach Program is our newest addition. This program provides mentoring and prevention methods to street youth. Staff members in this program work in low-income areas and in “hot spots” for troubled youth. The goal of this program is to reduce sexual exploitation and abuse of street youth. Our staff members provide a strong presence in the community and express genuine concern for the youth in order to facilitate relationships with the youth so that they will listen to advice offered, take advantage of the services and items given (i.e. brochures, resource contacts, hygiene items, contraceptives, etc.), and hopefully choose to exit the streets for a safer environment.
The Runaway & Homeless Program is part of the Federal initiative to provide shelter and safety to runaway and homeless youth. Youth in crisis are referred to this program so that intervention and prevention methods can be put into place to assist in improving familial dynamics in the home, or if necessary, intervene with other agencies to ensure the safety of the youth in crisis. Youth that need intensive and/or protective services are placed in our Group Home for up to 21 days and are provided with the same services and benefits as youth enrolled in The Bridge. As part of the Federal grant, Open Arms, Incorporated has a Crisis Line that is manned 24 hours per day allowing any youth in distress a contact number for safety. During their time with us, all their necessities are provided, including but not limited to food, clothing, shelter, recreation, job training, advocacy, education, medical attention, and counseling. Aftercare Services are offered to clients for up to 6 months.