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About Us

WHO WE ARE

The Bridge Home is a non-profit organization devoted to bridging the gap between homelessness and housing by providing shelter, support, and inspiring a pathway forward for individuals and families experiencing or on the verge of homelessness. 

Founded in 1985 to address the growing need of individuals and families requiring shelter, a trend that continues today, we are the only organization in the Two Rivers Region dedicated to ending the cycle of homelessness among single men, women, and families. In the last year alone, we have proudly served over 2,500 people, with more than 9,700 meals and 9,800 nights of shelter.

At The Bridge Home, we are not just dedicated to providing immediate relief. We provide a continuum of care from preventative services to housing programs. We offer the tools, resources, and education to empower and guide individuals and families facing the challenges of homelessness towards long-term solutions — free from judgment.

1000 +
People Served
7000 +
Meals Served
9000 +
Nights of Shelter

OUR MISSION

We walk with those who have fallen on hard times to help them find hope and a home.

OUR VISION

We will build on our success to become a model service provider by implementing cutting edge best practices.

OUR VALUES

Inclusiveness, Hospitality, Respect, Self-empowerment, Compassion, Hope.

AREA OF SERVICE

The Bridge Home serves the Two Rivers Region in central Iowa, comprising Story, Boone, Greene,  Hardin, and Marshall counties.

Leadership and Staff

Board of Directors

8

Dan Douglas

President
DianeMcCauleyVicePresident

Diane Mccauley

Vice President
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John Dalhoff

Treasurer
Secretary

Jean Nicol Jahren

Secretary
3

Carolyn Cutrona

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Jennifer Garst

Kirsten-Newman

Kirsten Newman

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Doug Powell

9

Marv Prins

2

Ralph Rosenberg

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Mary Ross

12

Dave Wohlsdorf

Leadership Team

jodistumbo

Jodi Stumbo

President and CEO
lindamunden

Linda Munden, MPA

Senior Executive Director
tarabrown

Tara Brown

Director of Shelter Services
10

Shari Reilly

Executive Assistant
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Andrea Gronau

Development Manager

Staff

randallmathews

Randall Mathews

Shelter and Safety Coordinator
sharese

Sharese Towns

Shelter Team Lead
troyjansen

Troy Jansen

Shelter Coordinator 3
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Elizabeth Siddens

Housing and Prevention Specialist
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Lynn Owens-Hill

Supportive Housing Specialist
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Keeli Hansen

Shelter Coordinator
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Logan Elder

Shelter Coordinator
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Alexa Frausto

Shelter Assistant

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Past Newsletters

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Jodi Stumbo

Executive Director

Originally from a small town in western Iowa, Jodi Stumbo graduated from Iowa State University and began her teaching career. After moving to Ames, she spent 16 years with the Iowa State University Foundation and served as their executive director of communications. 

With a passion for helping those in need and bringing light to the struggles facing many in our community, Stumbo served as the development director at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Story County before assuming her role as executive director for The Bridge Home.

Stumbo believes we all need a helping hand at some point, and it takes a village to help our neighbors in need. She takes great joy in witnessing the excitement and pride of staff and clients when a family overcomes a hurdle and moves one step closer to stable, sustainable housing.

Striving to be a voice for those in our community who go unheard, Stumbo aims to dispel the myths surrounding homelessness — it can touch anyone — but there are people who care, who are listening, and want to help.  

“The people we work with want to change their lives. They want to support themselves and their families. They want to be contributing members of society.”

Linda Munden, MPA

Associate Director,
Housing and Grant Writing

Joining The Bridge Home in 2017, Linda Munden has dedicated her professional career to serving the homeless. She is a strong advocate for the Housing First philosophy supporting permanent, affordable housing for those experiencing homelessness.

Having worked as interim executive director for ACCESS Assault Care Center, Munden has a background in grant writing, finance, housing and shelter, and case management. She is committed to making the most significant impact on the largest number of people.

Through her involvement in state and local committees, Munden believes her voice and vision can be heard by those in power to make real change happen. She strives to align The Bridge Home with best practices to provide exceptional care and meet the growing need for our services.

Munden graduated with a degree in philosophy, studied social work at the University of Iowa, and received her master’s in public administration from Drake University.

“My co-workers are my people — like family to me. I love doing what I do with people I love in the service of those who need us most.”

Tara Brown

Shelter Manager

With a Bachelor of Science in human services and an addictions certificate from the University of Phoenix, Tara Brown left a seven-year career in the insurance industry to pursue her passion for helping others in the human services field.

After working with the homeless population for two years at Central Iowa Shelter & Services, Brown joined The Bridge Home team, first as an intern and then as a shelter coordinator, before assuming her role as shelter manager in August of 2020.

With her case management experience, Brown finds the most joy when moving a client into their own housing.

“Homelessness does not discriminate, and it can happen to anyone. I have met people from all walks of life who have fallen on hard times, and I’ve learned the stigmas that exist around people experiencing homelessness are largely inaccurate.”

Shari Reilly

Executive Assistant

Shari Reilly served on the board of The Bridge Home for over ten years before joining the staff in 2021. Reilly comes to us after 25 years in ministry, including 20 years coordinating rent and utility assistance, service and immersion break trips, and a multitude of other social justice and peace-making efforts. After her own experience of housing instability as a child, Reilly has always had a heart for those who struggle to make ends meet, and found the opportunity to contribute to a new direction with The Bridge Home too good to resist.

“People say, what is the sense of our small effort? They cannot see that we must lay one brick at a time, take one step at a time. A pebble cast into a pond causes ripples that spread in all directions. Each one of our thoughts, words and deeds is like that. No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless. There is too much work to do.”
― Dorothy Day

 

Andrea Gronau

Development Manager

Originally from a rural Western Iowa community, Andrea Gronau came to Ames to study agriculture at Iowa State University. Her career path took many turns and she spent years in banking, but one of Gronau’s favorite jobs was managing the fair-trade non-profit in downtown Ames, and she missed the non-profit world.

Gronau is elated to have the opportunity to work at The Bridge Home, because she wants to share their amazing mission with the Two Rivers Region. She loves showcasing The Bridge Home’s story to donors and the community and wants people to know that their donations and gifts matter and make a difference in The Bridge Home’s clients’ lives.

“Unforeseen circumstances can impact anyone of us and without a family and friend support system, we all may need The Bridge Home services in our lives.  If ever in need, we would want to be treated with compassion and have a place like The Bridge Home to seek help and a hand up.”

Randall Mathews

Shelter and Safety Coordinator

With extensive experience in quality and reliability engineering in communications technology, Randall Matthews created and produced Mosaic, a local cable program enabling crucial awareness outreach for the human services community in Story County.

Matthews graduated from Iowa State University with a double major in sociology and speech communications in 1985 and has served nine years on the board and one year as chairman for Open Line. Matthews provided invaluable training to volunteers in crisis intervention and listening skills before serving as a shelter coordinator for The Bridge Home.

“Working for The Bridge Home, and one-on-one with clients has been my dream job since graduating from college.”

Sharese Towns

Shelter Housing Coordinator

Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Sharese Towns discovered her calling to human services in 2008.

Growing up in group homes, Towns witnessed the love and dedication shown by workers to children and how they supported them through their trauma. She completed her certificate in human services and has gained experience in client advocacy, resume writing, job search assistance, and shelter coordination.

Towns’ journey at The Bridge Home began not as an employee but as a client, when she and her children needed assistance after moving to Ames. Her knowledge, background, and personal experience contribute to her position as shelter housing coordinator.

“I knew I could help make a difference because someone helped me. I love seeing families getting housed and watching as children, once homeless, smile when they move into their new home. I know that feeling first hand, and it’s an amazing feeling when you know you have accomplished something positive.”

Troy Jansen

Associate Director,
Prevention and Volunteers

Born and raised in Iowa, Troy Jansen graduated with a degree in elementary education from Wartburg College before attending grad school at Iowa State University.

Jansen joined The Bridge Home in 1996, dedicating his professional career to helping those in need reach their full potential, providing a sense of relief and stability for individuals and families through homeless prevention.

Jansen believes community awareness and involvement is paramount to The Bridge Home’s mission, and “while homelessness affects all facets of people’s lives, it does not define them or their hopes and dreams.”

Elizabeth Siddens

Housing and Prevention Specialist

Elizabeth Siddens grew up in Dallas, Texas, but moved to Iowa in 2014 to attend Iowa State University. She received her Bachelor’s degree in child, adult, and family services and out of college worked at MICA as a Family Development Specialist for nearly two years before moving to The Bridge Home.

Siddens chose to work at The Bridge Home because she has a drive to come alongside individuals and families who are struggling and help get their feet underneath them, and work with them to live stable and healthy lives. What she loves most is getting to know the clients she works with and their unique stories, interests, and strengths.

“A lot of individuals don’t know where they’re going to sleep tonight, much less how they’re going to make it to work on time tomorrow. Here at The Bridge Home we believe in housing first, so that our clients can feel safe and comfortable in order to start getting things in place for them to maintain that housing once they complete our program.”

Lynn Owens-Hill

Supportive Housing Specialist

Lynn Owens-Hill has over 20 years of experience in the social working field and studied psychology at Colorado Christian University and was employed at a victim shelter in southern Iowa before coming to work at The Bridge Home.

Owens-Hill’s life motto is that everyone needs a hand up, not a handout. She loves that The Bridge Home gives her that opportunity to be a hand up to the people they serve, because she knows anyone can become homeless at some point in their life.

“People do not want to be homeless; it just happens.  It could happen to all of us through our lives. I am so thankful that there are agencies that would be willing to help me if I was in that situation.”

Keeli

Shelter Coordinator

Keeli Hanson grew up on a farm outside of Lehigh, Iowa, a small rural community where she learned what hard work and dedication is. Hanson is a single mom of four children, so she has faced lots of challenges in her life but knows that every day is a new day and is proud of where she’s come.

Hanson has an Associate’s degree in criminal justice and hopes to further her education one day. She’s worked as a correctional officer and a fact finder before joining The Bridge Home in her current role. Hanson loves her work now because she has a passion for helping people, and she is so happy to see clients succeed and become housed so that they have a home to call their own.

When it comes to homelessness, I wish others would understand that it never discriminates, there is always a risk that anyone could experience homelessness, so stay humble and most importantly be kind because you never know what someone is going through.”

Logan Elder

Shelter Coordinator

Logan Elder has a vast array of experience, from communications and broadcasting, audio production, audio engineering, and is also DJ in his free time. Elder went to school for communications and is currently taking courses for social media marketing.

Elder works at The Bridge Home because he believes that housing is a basic human right. Before his time working at The Bridge Home, Elder was in a position where he needed assistance. During this time, he realized that he wanted to help people in similar situations. Elder loves the outreach and success he brings to clients in his role.

The stigma associated with homelessness leads people to assume many things about people experiencing a housing crisis. I would like people to understand that any person, from any walk of life, is susceptible to homelessness. We should treat anyone in an emergency situation with respect, and as equals.”

Alexa Frausto

Shelter Assistant

Alexa Frausto is a senior at Iowa State University, majoring in psychology and criminal justice with a minor in sociology. She’s worked with victims of domestic and sexual abuse previously and began at The Bridge Home during the fall 2021 semester, so that she could help those who are struggling with homelessness.

Frausto most enjoys working with people to get them into a better situation because she knows everyone goes through hard times. She’s glad to be able to help people along that path because “everyone goes through hardships and the hardships people go through do not define who they are.”

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