Bridges of New York

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The key to my growth was getting honest with myself while going through the 12 steps, really getting to the root of my past pains and then uprooting them...
Only through building a strong, deep relationship with God and others have I been able to do that. I want to plant both my feet into the church, give back and continue to walk out God's plan and purpose for my life. Thank God for Bridges of New York."
        - D. D.

I would truly like to say thank you and that I appreciate you giving me the opportunity to be a part of Bridges and allowing me the opportunity to get positive structure on living life one day at a time.
Thank you for by being a positive household and attending A/A meetings. This allowed me to stay focused in a positive manner, Thank you again!!!."
        - T. S.

Thank you for your past efforts, concerns and sincerity.
Mentors are meant to last a life time and your services have helped me greatly."
        - R. J.

When people lose their direction, they're effected in so many ways.  Some will struggle with depression, others get angry at the world, get divorced, turn to drinking and/or drugs. Still, others go further astray, committing crimes and winding up in our jails and state prisons.  Different strokes, yet all hell-bent on damning their God-given potentials.

Bridges of New York in Freeport is a big, old house and a healthy home which embraces them all, offering a healing agenda that gently invites wayward souls to re-examine their misguided thinking through a combination of disciplined renewal, therapeutic camaraderie, twelve-step programming and delicate doses of Christian love.  Bridges is a portal to self-understanding and growth for all those who want it - some of whom don't even know they do until their nurturing seeds have been planted and they find themselves growing in refreshing directions.

I was one of Bridges reluctant attendees - kicking and screaming all the way to offices in Albany when Parole first insisted I go there to learn some humility and shake up my life's aimless script.  I was outraged and clenched when I got there - didn't feel a connection to anyone - resented all efforts to discuss my self-defeating behaviors and felt hog-tied by their stifling curfews.  But what I couldn't realize at that time was that Bridges was a much-needed break for me - from my restless and selfish urges, as well as the corrupted thinking which had steered me off-course in the first place. 

Unknowingly, their safe setting and set of silly rules were already nudging me to re-consider how I'd been misusing my time and gifts, and to re-evaluate what was truly important to me.  I was being shown a way inward there - a way to get re-acquainted with my authentic self.  Their sanctuary was bringing vital matters to my front burners - subjects un-cool and better left neglected in the heat and pretense of prison settings.  Ice was melting.  Something asleep had been sparked.  I knew I was sick and tired of making nothing happen, that Bridges had wiped my daily slate clean of many dark distractions, but now what?

Bridges Program Director, Paul Ammendola became the rejuvenating jolt I desperately needed.  hours of caring conversation with him, shared freely and regularly, provided emotional nourishment and focus.  Paul's therapeutic and spiritual insights spoke to my heart in ways nobody had for many years.  The man has a wall full of degrees and certificates, but also a gentle understanding of sin and human frailty, which doesn't come with formal education.  Paul held up a loving mirror for me to see my failures and my gifts anew, and his soulful efforts have left an indelible imprint upon my outlook and priorities today.  In my innermost parts I am grateful to him.

Bridges Clinical Director, Paul Hinton, patiently shared her own story, and many personal anecdotes with me - instilling the belief that I can take bigger leaps than I'd imagined.  She is a goodwill ambassador for any man receptive to meaningful shape and purpose in the life that lies ahead of him.

I am now immersed in Paralegal training full-time and contemplating Graduate School.  I do not think I would be anchored enough for any of this to be happening had Bridges' staff not harnessed my cascade of mixed-up feelings following jail, allowing me to see my felonious foolishness for what it was.  Largely because of Bridges' dedication, spirituality and guidance, I am no longer a creature of haphazard living, ricocheting around town obsessed with momentary sensations.  With a confident, new perspective on my adversity and personal demons, I am now a man who's stepped out of a twilight world, and into a joyful, admirable life."

        - Mark B.

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