Partnering with Bridgeport’s youth and families to build resilience.
Bridgeport’s youth and families reach their full potential within a stronger community.
LifeBridge believes in the unlimited potential of every child and family in Bridgeport. By providing a combination of behavioral health services, youth development, and asset-building resources for families, our impact strengthens families and our community as a whole.
For 171 years, LifeBridge has been dedicated to providing services to greater Bridgeport’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged populations. Services and programs have evolved over time to meet the emerging needs of a changing community. Once a bustling hub of manufacturing and industry following the Civil War, Bridgeport was hit hard by the Great Depression and has never fully recovered. This has left a disproportionate segment of the population unable to thrive and living within deep pockets of extreme poverty.
Through the years, LifeBridge has always been focused on helping youth and families with credit going to a women’s group for its early start. Beginning as a Ladies Relief Society during the civil war, funds were used to benefit destitute children. Several years later, their effort became chartered as the Bridgeport Orphan Asylum. In 1935, the name changed to Woodfield Children’s Village and a merger with Family Services Society of Eastern Fairfield County resulted in the new name of Family Services of Woodfield which would later be shortened to FSW. Multiple mergers over time further expanded services and in 2015, the agency name changed again to LifeBridge Community Services.
WHO WE SERVE
The lives of the youth and families served by LifeBridge have been deeply impacted by trauma, poverty, and a lack of educational opportunity. One in every three children in Bridgeport lives in poverty. Bridgeport is the largest city in the state and the 5th poorest with an unemployment rate of almost 12% compared to less than 6% for Connecticut. By the time a child reaches adulthood they have already experienced two to three trauma-related events in a city where the crime rate is 36% of the State of Connecticut as a whole. Over 11% of youth ages 18-24 have not graduated from high school. Every study shows youth in Bridgeport schools are not meeting standardized performance measures. Our goal at LifeBridge is to help youth and their families become resilient — to be able to persevere against these odds and be successful. As young people grow into resilient adults, their communities become stronger as a result. As we change the lives of those we serve for the better, we will ultimately change the neighborhoods they live in — and that is lasting impact.