Bridging The Gap of GEORGIA

Bridging The Gap of Georgia (BTG) is a 501(c) (3) organization created to assist veterans who are socially impaired. Many of the veterans BTG serve suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and Combat Stress and/or homeless. We utilize a mentorship program to enable these veterans who are socially impaired to function as productive members of our society.

BTG works DIRECTLY with the Veterans on a one-on-one basis – we’re NOT a call center. No one in our organization collects a salary – everyone works on a volunteer basis. We don’t just listen to their stories and tell the Veterans where to go get help; WE ARE THE HELP. We provide food, and shelter, and educational assistance DIRECTLY to as many Veterans as we can afford to. There is no long, tedious, confusing application process for them. If we have the space available in one of our residential centers, a Veteran is invited to come live at one of those centers that very same day.
BTG IS:

• A mentorship based program to work with veterans in preparing them for their greatest opportunity for success.
• BTG identifies veterans who are at risk at falling through the cracks of society.
• BTG provides an opportunity for veterans through a caring mentor to improve their ability to develop a positive attitude towards their future.
• The goal of BTG is to empower the veteran to function in society as a productive member, able to support themself and their families.
• BTG works to raise the awareness of this mentorship program to agencies, businesses, corporations and adult learning facilities.
• BTG helps to create jobs for veterans unable to be employed due to lack of skills, education, work history or criminal history.
B.R.I.D.G.E.S.
Beginning with a referral from an agency, court system, or referral service to BTG, the veteran completes an intake package. This intake package will identify emergency needs, as well as, identify secondary needs.
Re-entry is the process where stable housing is secured or verified and basic human needs are provided for. In this part of the program, the veteran is introduced to a peer mentor who will shadow the veteran and assist the veteran into developing appropriate social skills and mannerism to re-enter society. This is the transition process from an institutional setting to permanent housing.
Identification stage is where the veteran works with a mentor to identify needs. This identification process will focus on housing needs, medical needs, psychiatric services, employment, resume writing, education and personal development.

Through this identification process, the veteran can look at varies resources within their community to access.
The mentor will assist the veteran through a “Systems Navigator”. A Systems Navigator will work with the veteran to assist them in identifying programs and completing the forms. Often in human services, there are barriers that bar people from the services that they need. These barriers are often based on education and the self- induced trauma through homelessness.
The system navigator will work with the veteran to provide them with the “how to” to achieve the experience needed to allow the system to work for them and utilize the resources available.

Development of a plan with targeted time frames that can be examined is next. Through this development, the mentor will work with the veteran in Systems Navigation. However the mentor will not place the calls or complete the forms for the veteran. The veteran will be responsible for completing those in a mode of self-sufficiency. The mentor will shadow to enhance the participants confidence, competency, and skills set.
Goals will be identified and the necessary steps to be taken to complete the targeted goals. Through the goal stage, the veteran will have to identify short term, mid-range and long term goals. Through this venue, the peer mentor can identify for the veteran that they are on-track with their goals or off-track. Short term goals might be any type of Employment opportunities: whereas, a long term goal might be to complete a C.D.L. certification for improved employment.

Entry stage is where a veteran will secure viable employment and re-integrate into the recovering community through the assistance of a mentor.
Society welcomes the veteran as a productive member of their community and be able to financially support themself and their families in a meaningful way.
FOCUS OF BRIDGING THE GAP OF GEORGIA:
• Veterans overcoming stressors in their lives, such as abusive situations, addiction, unstable homes, lack of a supporting network, and poverty.

• BTG program’s allows positive changes through goal setting, self- discipline, skill development and healthy relationships.

• BTG is marketed in Atlanta and throughout Georgia as a major networking system among veterans, mentors, and referral agencies.
TARGET GROUP OF BTG:
• Veterans who are suffering with Post Dramatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injuries, Severe Depression and other types of Combat Stress.
• Veterans that have developed destructive habits that lead to a path of hopelessness or homelessness.
• Veterans who are having difficulties getting their proper benefits from the Veterans Administration.

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