Board Names New Executive Director

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN – (December 21, 2015) The Bridge for Youth is pleased to announce the appointment of Michelle Basham as Executive Director of The Bridge for Youth, a Twin Cities non-profit providing emergency shelter and counseling for at-risk children under age 18.


Michelle Basham, MPA, JD, is currently Chief Executive Officer of the YWCA of Delaware. In 1993, she founded Avenues for Homeless Youth, serving as Executive Director for eight years.  Michelle later accepted a role with the Minnesota Department of Health and Human Services where she led high-level policy initiatives as Manager of Strategic Planning and Special Projects.  Michelle served as Executive Director for FamilyWise, an organization providing comprehensive family strengthening and support services, and served as Vice President at CommonBond Communities, the largest provider of affordable housing in the Upper Midwest.


Michelle has a Master’s in Public Administration from Hamline University School of Business, a Juris Doctor from Hamline University School of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts from Augsburg College.


“Michelle’s well-rounded executive leadership skills will be an asset to The Bridge as we continue in a very significant growth phase.” said Board Chair Scott Thomas-Forss. “Michelle has a strong, personal commitment to advancing the mission of The Bridge and is an ideal leader to guide the next chapter in The Bridge’s history.”


In addition, Michelle launched the Minnesota Runaway and Homeless Youth Coalition and co-founded the Nonprofit Emerging Leaders Academy. She has received numerous awards including the City of Minneapolis Award and the Outstanding Young Minnesotans/Americans from the Jaycees. She completed a fellowship at the Humphrey Institute Public Policy Forum, exploring women and people of color in political leadership

About the Bridge for Youth:

Founded in 1970, The Bridge for Youth provides safe shelter and support for runaway, homeless and abandoned youth, ages 10-17.

Serving nearly 1,000 youth each year, The Bridge is the Twin Cities largest provider of emergency and extended-stay shelter for children in crisis in the Twin Cities with locations in Minneapolis and Chanhassen.  Additional services include walk-in and by-appointment counseling for youth and families, and operation of (612) 400-SAFE, a 24-hour text-for-help hotline for teens.

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