When the program's founder, William Washington, was serving a long-term sentence in a regional jail, he found the motivation and ability to change his life through the ministry of Good News Jail and Prison Ministry. Since 1996, under the guidance of a board of directors comprised of local community leaders, The Bridge Ministry has been providing a second chance for men who are committed to breaking free from life controlling issues.
The Bridge Ministry has working relationships with communities and correctional facilities across the country, and also works with judges to provide an alternative to incarceration.
The Bridge operates a retreat center in Buckingham County that can accommodate 50 men who struggle with life-controlling issues. During the eighteen-month program, men receive character building instruction, job training, drug counseling, and educational classes. The schedule is highly structured and teaches the students important life skills they need to live a productive life.
A select few of our students, who successfully complete 12 months of the program at our Buckingham facility, are offered the privilege of moving into our Charlottesville Intern House for the last six months of the program. There, the men develop ties with the local community, find employment, and receive further training in practical life skills.