Thursday, September 10, 2020
Bridges to Independence announced a merger with Bonder & Amanda Johnson Community Development Corporation (BAJCDC) last week. The combined non-profit organization will enhance services to Northern Virginia families in need, and deepen ties to Arlington’s Green Valley community. Bridges to Independence is a Northern Virginia provider of housing and vital services for at-risk families and individuals. Bridges has been working with and for homeless families since 1985, formerly as the Arlington-Alexandria Coalition for the Homeless. Established in 1999,
BAJCDC is a community-based non-profit with a mission to address the health, education, financial empowerment and social service needs of people living in Arlington’s Green Valley neighborhood. Green Valley is one of the original African-American communities of Arlington.
“Our merger with this great organization will allow Bridges to expand the scope of support it provides to at risk individuals and families in our community, and increases our capacity to respond to the current economic crisis and meet the ongoing demand for low-income housing in Northern Virginia,” said Bridges board president Patrick King. “BAJCDC has maintained a longstanding commitment to the less fortunate in our community, and our combined organization creates more opportunities to help Arlington families achieve stable, financially-independent futures.”
Bridges and BAJCDC will unify under the Bridges organization to provide youth education, social service referrals, health and wellness guidance, and financial education – adding to Bridges’ current housing, employment and youth development portfolio. Bridges also expects to maintain operations at BAJCDC’s Green Valley Community Services Center on South Shirlington Road. Former BAJCDC Executive Director Cecily Whitfield served the Green Valley Community for more than four years, and joined Bridges’ staff as Chief Program Officer in April 2020. Whitfield will maintain her position on the Executive Committee of the Green Valley Civic Association Board. The merger is expected to finalize in December 2020.
“We are excited that this merger will allow even more neighbors and families who face daily challenges and housing insecurity to be served,” said BAJCDC board president C.C. Jenkins. “Combining forces with Bridges will expand our footprint within the Green Valley Community and offer assistance to more families, which is critical during this pandemic environment.”