How we started:
While driving along Route 80, a local pastor was confronted with a mandate from the heart of God. The “rescue missions” he had been leading on the streets of Northern New Jersey were now to take on a new dimension. To make the connection with his new-found friends, he was commissioned to live with the homeless in one of the most dangerous areas of Paterson. In the coldest week of January 2012, Pastor Thomas Keinath spent seven days and nights with a community of men who had made their “home” under a highway entrance ramp.
"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,
I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. — Matthew 25:35-36
During this same period of time the Lord was preparing another man of God--with a very different story--to enter into this hope-filled journey. Born and raised in Paterson, NJ in a stable and loving family, a young teenager by the name of Edwin Placeres began to use drugs and get involved in gang membership. For 30 years, he was in and out of the courts, jails, and institutions because of his addiction to everything available: alcohol, heroin, cocaine, pills, and more.
Yet Edwin has now been clean for nearly 15 years due to an encounter with God while incarcerated. During a Prison Fellowship chapel service, he realized his need for Jesus Christ and was taught to live according to Matthew 6:33-- ""But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." " Being very familiar with the obstacles that ex-cons and addicts face when returning to society, Edwin and his wife, Laurie, started a home dedicated to after-care for men recovering from addiction through a faith-based transitional home, giving them a safe place to live and restore their lives.
Bridge to Hope is now seeking to expand on what was started.
Want to help? Consider donating and partnering with us in laying the foundation for a home.
Together, these men planted the seed, and helped lay the foundation for what is now Bridge to Hope. Our mission is simple - we have the goal of establishing a haven that helps individuals who have completed a rehab program integrate back into society while growing in Christ.