For over 60 years Bridges has successfully provided needed programs and services to individuals with disabilities, including veterans in Brevard County. Carey Gleason is a well-known leader in the area, successfully raising millions of dollars, developing key strategies and launching multiple successful initiatives with positive outcomes. Now as the executive director of Bridges, Carey is taking on a different kind of challenge. Her responsibilities include everything from philanthropy, strategic planning, community relations/outreach and government relations.
The organization provides residential facilities, respite care, employment services and coaching, transitional housing/programs/employment for veterans, day services, recycling facility, and senior care among other services in Brevard County. In 2014 the Bridges board identified the need, with cutback in various funding streams, to have a foundation to support the clients and the organization.
Group homes located in Rockledge and Titusville offer individuals 24-hour supervision, medication administration, transportation, meals, social gatherings, and most importantly, independence.
In 2012 Bridges opened a transitional home for disabled and homeless veterans called the Patriot House. This home is located in Melbourne and houses up to six veterans at one time. The Patriot House is a 24-month program designed to help veterans transition back into the community by providing them stability while they search for employment and affordable housing.
Employment services including resumé building and day programs are tailored according to the needs and desires of the individuals.
“They work so hard and they are so appreciative,” Carey said. “We serve about 350 individuals daily.”
Through Carey’s leadership, the Bridges Foundation was launched and now has an active board, gaining presence in the community and raising the needed funds to support and grow the quality programs and services provided by Bridges.
Bridges Foundation has been in existence for over 12 years, helping the organization provide informed choices for adults and children with disabilities. It also offers a flexible range of cost-effective, practical solutions to the challenges in lives of people with disabilities through their employment, residential, advocacy, therapeutic and educational programs. But it wasn’t until April of 2014 that the foundation began its outreach for community support. Carey is leading the effort to educate others and inspire their support.
Bridges is Brevard’s oldest, most comprehensive disability organization with programs including:
- Life Skills Development Program – providing clients training to enhance living, employment and social skills
- Employment Services – working with local employers to tailor jobs and train clients for fulfilling job placements
- I-Force Work Experience – contracting with area businesses to provide clients paid work experience
- Patriot House – providing housing and employment opportunities for disabled and homeless veterans
- Bridges Senior Program – helping senior clients socialize and stay active in a secure and caring environment
- Residential and Supported Living Programs – providing clients care and monitoring in their
homes or Bridges-owned group homes
- Materials Recycling Facility at Patrick Air Force Base – providing clients jobs recycling for PAFB,
Canaveral Air Station and Kennedy Space Center
How To Help
You can attend or sponsor the second annual Bridges Foundation Wacky Tacky Golf Tourney and Social, March 18 at Baytree National Golf Links. The event is for golfers and non-golfers, and offers live music with a chance to win $10,000 to whoever gets a hole-in-one.
1694 Cedar Street | Rockledge
(321) 690-3464 | MyBridges.org