Ready to Work

In both Boulder and Aurora Bridge House's Ready to Work has facilities that functions as employment centers, transitional housing facilities, and shelters for the homeless. Bridge House's Ready to Work provides support for those who want assistance in rebuilding their lives. The Bridge House CEO, Isabel McDevitt, says Ready to Work gives residents the "The Transformative Power of Opportunity" with the "Transformative Power" coming from the resident who wants to make that change for themselves, their families, and their communities 

Ready to Work's official logo

The Ready to Work House and Employment Center in Boulder, Colorado that was opened in 2015 by Bridge House CEO Isabel McDevitt. 

Ready to Work Boulder

​Ready to Work Boulder address ​4747 Table Mesa Dr, Boulder, CO 80305
​Ready to Work Boulder phone no ​ (720) 356-2773 (Also the Bridge House phone number)
​Facility TypeAll-day ​Shelter & Local Work Program

Ready to Work Aurora 

​Ready to Work Aurora address 3176 S Peoria Ct, Aurora, CO 80014
​Ready to Work Aurora phone no ​ (720) 621-5811
​Facility TypeAll-day ​Shelter & Local Work Program
Ready to Work crew heading to the Boulder Reservoir to work for the day.

Becoming a Resident of Ready to Work 

Ready to Work offers individuals a stepping stone to full-time employment. We are a work-based program up to 29 hours a week of paid, transitional employment in the Boulder area. Trainees are paid $8.23 an hour and may be eligible to live in the newly renovated Ready to Work Housing and Employment Center for a year. All interns will be assisted with their living situation during the internship. In addition to working Monday through Friday, as well as some weekends, program trainees are supported by case management providing support with financial management, job readiness, housing, support services and more.

To be eligible, potential participants must be looking for a pathway out of homelessness, want to achieve full-time employment, and stable housing within 9 to 12 months of joining Ready to Work. Interested individuals must complete an application and agree to all terms and conditions of the program including committing up to 29 hours a week of work, saving 1/3 of their income, and staying clean and sober. Ready to Work staff will conduct intake interviews and will maintain a waiting list for Ready to Work. Participants accepted into Ready to Work will first participate in an unpaid, volunteer internship that can last from one to four weeks, consisting of volunteer duties at the Bridge House and or other Ready to Work assignment. Transportation assistance will be provided. Upon successful completion of the internship, participants will begin working on the Ready to Work crew, as a paid trainee, for up to 29 hours a week. In addition to work, trainees will be required to meet with a case manager, attend caseload meetings, participate in financial management, employment and life skills classes for up to 5 additional unpaid hours per week.

To retain your position in Ready To Work, participants must agree to and comply with all program expectations. Ready to Work is voluntary and should not be considered permanent employment with Bridge House. As a part of the program, the option of living in the Ready to Work House is available for trainees. Applications to live in the house are completed with your case manager, and dependent on meeting the requirements.

Benefits of Ready To Work include:

  • Minimum of 20 hours a week at $8.23 an hour, $9.00 after 4 months
  • Eligibility to live at the Ready to Work House and Employment Center for one year
  • EcoPass
  • The opportunity to build a resume and reference
  • Opportunity to earn a wage and manage a budget
  • Reduce debt
  • Build a rental history
  • Learn essential interview skills
  • Supportive services to create a foundation for long-term employment
  • Job placement upon successful work on a transitional work crew
  • Assistance with local housing resources
  • Rewarding work supported by the community
  • A chance to leave homelessness behind

Criteria for Participation in Ready To Work include:

A trainee must:

  • Unemployed and unable to secure work on your own
  • Ability to commit up to 29 hours a week of transitional work
  • Ability to commit to all other program requirements
  • Intention to obtain mainstream employment after Ready to Work
  • Clean and Sober
  • If psychiatric issues are present, be compliant with programming and taking medication as prescribed
  • Sign releases for program support system
  • Healthy enough for physical work
  • Take drug tests as asked
  • Create a savings of 1/3 or more of each paycheck
  • Meet with Case Manager bi-weekly
  • Attend trainee education groups on the of weeks from meetings with case maanger
  • Must have Social Security, Drivers License or other proper Identification
  • Have never been convicted of a sex offense
Bridge House CEO, Isabel McDevitt at Martin Park during an annual Ready to Work event in Boulder.

Who joins Ready to Work? 

Veterans

Over 13% of residents are veterans who have served our country, but who are struggling to stay on their feet. RTW: Many are not getting the benefits they are entitled to under law. We help veterans to process the paperwork so that they can receive the medical and financial assistance they deserve.

Women

RTW: Approximately 30% of the people that walk through our doors are women. The issues homeless women face around safety and security are different from those facing men.

Have mental health problems

There are estimates that nearly 40% of the homeless population suffers from some kind of mental illness. The Ready to Work program leaders see this statistic reflected in our clients, most of whom either don't know they are ill or are unaware of services that can help them. The program has a mental health outreach worker who meets with people one-on-one. They also have group counseling through their weekly HOPE Group. We provide funds for psychiatric prescriptions and work with their partners at Clinica and Mental Health Partners to get people the services they need.

Though anyone can come from out-of-state, local Boulder, Colorado residents make up a large part of the residents at Bridge House. While many people think the homeless population flocks to places like Boulder for services, a large majority are locals. A full 60% of their residents are originally from Boulder County. The staff and program managers work hard to instill a sense of community at Bridge House for all their clients. They have regular holiday gatherings, art classes, and regular meetings with clients to gather feedback and suggestions.

RTW: The number of people seeking our services continues to grow every year. In addition to the chronically homeless, we are seeing a significant number of newly homeless that have lost businesses, homes, and families in the economic chaos. In addition, we have more families coming to Bridge House and our evening dinners than ever before; at least one family with children per week.

At the Resource Center (job assistance), they provide opportunities for each person to find his or her path to self-sufficiency. But no path is the same. The try and customize their program to a wide variety of people, from all walks of life. Everyone is welcome and the Bridge House goal is to connect every person with the services they need. The number of people seeking

Bridge House services continues to grow every year. In addition to the chronically homeless, they are seeing a significant number of newly homeless that have lost businesses, homes, and families in the economic chaos. In addition, we have more families coming to Bridge House and evening dinners than ever before; at least one family with children per week.

At the Resource Center, they provide opportunities for each person to find his or her path to self-sufficiency. But no path is the same. A wide variety of people, from all walks of life. Their published data made available to the public shows data from 2015.

* 1,730 individuals came to Bridge House and Resource Center for case management services

* They successfully connected 81 people with housing either through transitional programs or through rent assistance

* They helped 139 of their residents get jobs

* They provided over 4,163 case management appointments for clients to access benefits such as food stamps, AND, SSI

**Their Ready to Work employment program shows:**

* 13 graduated the program and 7 have found employment

* 44 are still working into 2016

* $312,665 in earned revenue

* 90% attendance rate

* The Ready to Work House and Employment Center opened in August 2015 at a new facility that was donated. Purchased and renovated by Bridge House, this community houses 44 individuals working in the Ready to Work program. Ready to Work is Bridge House's employment program that provides paid jobs, vocational training and support services to individuals re-entering the workforce and stable housing. Ready to Work is recognized as a best practice nationally and locally.

* Ready to Work operates two businesses – a landscaping and supplemental sanitation service with contracts with City of Boulder Open Space Mountain Parks.

The assistance in building a resume and get references. Back to that thing about being a felon. If you are a felon or just got back in the community after doing time in prison or jail, then you know that getting reliable reference can be extremely difficult. And an additional aspect that can't be understated is that they provide you access to clothing suitable for interviewing and for their jobs.


The Bridge House, Boulder work program offers and/or assists with:

1. Community living for 48 people

2. 38 men, 10 women (male/females in the same building, with the men residing on the 2nd floor and the women on the 1st floor.)

3. Paid work for up to 29 hours a week

4. 3 meals a day (from donors and Community Kitchen)

5. On site laundry

6. A Computer lab, and library

7. 24/7 access to staff or volunteer support

8. Build rental history

9. Room and board of 1/3 of income up to $60 per week

10. Sobriety required (must submit to random a breathalyzer or urinalysis)

11. Pass health screening (if you come in "hot" for a substance, they may require you to be at detox a few days, so you are not

disqualified for being admitted)

12. Earn and save money (minimum %30) 

Ready to Work Boulder, Program Director Widd Medford speaking with residents.
Holiday donations for the homeless on the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder.
Ready to Work Boulder graduates cooking for current residents at an annual event held in Martin Park.
Ready to Work Boulder crew supervisors Gilbert and Dave.
Boulder's Pearl Street Mall
Single-person room for residents of Ready to Work Boulder.
Schedule displayed on a chalkboard during a weekly Ready to Work Boulder house meeting.
Resident of Ready to Work Boulder working at the downtown library.
Multi-use area of Ready to Work Boulder's second floor. (dining room, meeting space, staff offices, resident mailboxes)
Salvation Army
Breakfast/Lunch Servers (Centennial / DTC)

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