The Bridge Project began life as a Lincoln-Woodstock Rotary Club initiative, designed to coordinate the many different programs that people have access to, but don't always know how to connect with them. The goal was to provide a space, and person, that people could feel comfortable approaching for help.
Tracy Shamberger, the organization’s Life Coach states, “a lot of times, people are too afraid to search for resources or even walk into an office to request them”. She’s also aware of the stigma that addicts can face. She wants to show people that every addict is also a child, a father, a grandchild. She explains that, as addicts gain confidence, as they get their lives back in order, they become a neighbor, an employee, a parent. A person.
Addiction recovery is a big part of the Project, but it's by no means the sole focus. Tracy handles everything from financial planning, to career goals, to organizing self-help sessions with parents. The key is building connections: to useful programs, to personal goals, to concerned friends and family. The Bridge Project doesn’t provide direct financial aid. Instead, its primary purpose is to form a connection between those in need and the services and organizations that can help them.
The Bridge project has grown beyond its Rotary origins, but the local Club's influence is still strong. The Board of Directors is comprised of a wide range of experiences and perspectives: local business owner Scott Rice and his daughter, Molly Norby, Town of Woodstock Executive Assistant Judy Welch, Marcus Corey of Loon Mountain Ministries, and local attorney William Parnell.
The organization has experienced nothing but support from Lincoln and Woodstock. Town welfare executive assistant Jane Leslie praised the project, saying “It strengthens the community.” She described the Project and its affiliates as “A safety net that people don't think about it.”
The Bridge Project is open for business (free to all) at 264 Main St in Lincoln, just above Black Mountain Burger. Contact them for more information, thebridgeprojectnh.org, (603) 348-3009 or contact Tracy directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.