The Bridge Project was created in 1991 through a collaboration involving community representatives and faculty members in the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver. Inspired by Chancellor Dan Ritchie’s vision that the University of Denver strive to be “a great private university dedicated to serving the public good,” community and faculty leaders developed a program aimed at reducing educational barriers, increasing educational opportunities, and improving learning outcomes for children and youth living in Denver’s public housing communities. The project’s mission and goals are based on data indicating that as many as 90 percent of youth residing in Denver’s public housing developments fail to complete high school. The Bridge Project uses several integrated program components to enhance educational skills and outcomes for children, youth, and parents who participate in the project.
The first Bridge Project neighborhood center was established in Denver’s
North Lincoln Park Public Housing Development in 1991. Due to the subsequent
demolition of the North Lincoln location, the Bridge Project moved into
South Lincoln Park community in 1993. In January of 1998, a second site
was opened in the Columbine Public Housing Development; this was followed
by the addition of a third location at the Westwood Public Housing Development
in the spring of 2001. The Denver Public Housing Authority provides space
for each of the Bridge Project sites. Renovation, equipment, and program
costs are provided through private funds and in-kind contributions from
the Denver community.