Hope Bridges Society grew out of Project HOPE, a therapeutic program used in our region’s Golden Hills School Division. As the first children involved with Project HOPE graduated, there were barriers to entering the next phase in their lives – no college program or immediate job placement – very few opportunities that typical youth look forward to.
To bridge this gap, a group of concerned community members held a successful workshop and took information gained from it to form Hope Bridges Society. Through meeting together regularly, they realized others in our community were also experiencing marginalization.
Although they could easily see that the desire to “belong” is universal, they knew that for most people with disabilities, isolation (outside of caregivers) is the norm. And isolation is present among others, including our elderly citizens, immigrants, and anyone perceived as different.
The question then became how to advocate for those isolated and build a stronger community. How do we impact the hearts and minds of all who live in Wheatland County so that “citizen” not only means that you live and vote in this community, but that you belong and are valued?
The Board decided the answer lay in the universal language of the arts – where there is no right or wrong and where we are all uniquely valued.
It has become our vision at Hope Bridges Society to build a stronger community using arts programming that promotes connection and wellness through participation and inclusion, thereby overcoming segregation.