Bridging The Gap of Georgia (BTGG) is a non-profit organization that helps veterans reestablish themselves as productive members of society. Based on the principle of one individual helping another, we are providing an opportunity to network and help each other “Bridge The Gap” between veterans and the resources to help them thrive as the heroes they are. Bridging The Gap of Georgia brings hope into the eyes of an individual that has lost their hope, motivation, and determination in life.
Bridging Gap of Georgia was started in 2011 to address the invisible wounds that was causing veterans to be homeless, addicted and suicidal.
Q. Who do you serve?
A. Many of our veterans returning from the wars do not suffer from physical injuries. 3500 veterans reside on the street of Atlanta on any given night. With an estimated 8,000 additional veterans returning to Georgia from the wars to face these problems.The painful truth is that in Georgia, as in most states, a substantial number of returning veterans are unwillingly channeled into homelessness, due to a lack of Employment, Family Support, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and the long-term consequences of war.
Many or our heroes reside on the streets, where they can suffer from Sleep Deprivation as well as a whole host of other emotional and mental problems, which is often magnified (and un-treated) after the stress of living on the street. Alcohol and Drug abuse is the most prevalent problem and one which poses a significant health risk. Drug or alcohol use frequently accompanies mental health problems and was involved in 50 percent of the Army’s suicide deaths from 2007 to 2011 and in more than 75 percent of non-fatal suicide attempts from 2007 to 2011.
The number of veterans involved in the criminal justice system has soared. The connection between post-war social impairments, drug abuse and crime is well known – one-half to two-thirds of our veterans in jails and State and Federal prisons meet standard diagnostic criteria for alcohol or drug dependence or abuse. Yet only 1% of these veterans receive treatment in jail or prison, so that most of the over 650,000 inmates released back into the community each year have not received needed treatment services.
Bridging The Gap of Georgia is doing this to work with communities to provide new avenues to enhance the shrinking public dollar and build partnerships in the community.
Simply providing shelter is not the answer to our veteran problem – we have to provide an environment where our veterans can begin to put their lives back together and become productive members of our community.
Bridging The Gap of Georgia is a mentor-based program set up to work with individuals to help them create their greatest opportunities for success. With our initiatives we optimize the chances for individuals by offering housing, life-sustaining work opportunities and support from their community Leaders and concerned citizens.
Q. What is your organization’s proudest accomplishment?
A. Helping veterans transition from homeless and living on the streets into their own apartments.
Q. What is Bridging The Gap of Georgia’s greatest need?
A. Funding through community support. and professional volunteers. Bridging The Gap of Georgia is a 501 (c) (3) organization that receives 100% of its funding from the private sector. This organization does not accept or seek Department of Defense or Veterans Administration funding. Every tax-deductible dollar received help Bridging The Gap of Georgia bring a comprehensive range of professional services to homeless Veterans and veterans in need.
Q. What are the organization’s plans for the future?
A. Our short term goal to purchase three homes to serve as residential living for veterans.