New Program Director Announced

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Joan Countryman, Program Director, The Bridge for Youth

The Bridge for Youth is pleased to announce the promotion of Joan Countryman from Program Manager to Program Director.

 In her new executive role, Joan is responsible for directing all agency programming and operations. This includes leading a staff of 45 and a volunteer team of 50.
Programs include:
  • Two Emergency Shelters located in Minneapolis and Chanhassen (20 beds)
  • 10-bed Transitional Living Program for older teens
  • Crisis Response Center including the fast-growing (612) 400-SAFE crisis text line and, a web app connecting youth with available, location-specific shelter beds.
Since joining The Bridge in 2013, Joan has held significant roles in the organization including Emergency Shelter Manager and Manager of Outreach and Innovation. Joan recently led The Bridge’s successful roll out of (612) 400-SAFE and
“Joan’s 30 years of social service experience and her proven ability to deliver positive outcomes will serve The Bridge well.” said Michelle Basham, Executive Director. “Her expertise helps ensure that our programs are financially sustainable.”
In addition to a 14-year tenure managing programs for Episcopal Community Services, Joan founded the youth program at Cornerstone Advocacy.  Her accomplishments also include developing a statewide model mobilizing volunteers to lend assistance to homeless families and those living in poverty.
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, a new 24-hour crisis text line for teens and families called (612) 400-SAFE, and, a web app connecting at-risk youth with available, location-specific shelter beds and crisis services.


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