The Norman Transcript

Local news

October 10, 2013

Program provides assistance, home to area teens in need

NORMAN — “Sidney” is a formerly homeless youth who found shelter through the Bridges Norman program. She attends high school, works, pays rent and is rebuilding her life.

“I’ve been at Bridges for eight months now,” said Sidney, 17. “To most of the kids here, it’s pretty important to have this safe environment.”

Without Bridges, Sidney said she would be bouncing from couch to couch, always in transition, always looking for the next safe place to stay. That uncertainty affected her school attendance, and she had little hope of graduating high school.

Since being at Bridges, life has gotten a lot better for the young woman.

“I’ve improved with my school work and attendance,” she said. “I’m hoping to go to college, maybe do something with the law.”

Sidney is just one of many continuing success stories for Bridges, which is a family crisis living center.

“About 90 percent of our kids over the last five years have gone on to some kind of higher ed,” Bridges Director Debra Krittenbrink said.

The support provided through mentorship and tutoring helps students stay in school and get their high school degrees and beyond. But the program also is about students learning to take care of themselves.

“To be in our program is really hard,” Krittenbrink said. “They have to have a job and keep their grades up. They support themselves. You have to be really mature and focused to succeed in this program.”

Safety is an issue for these vulnerable youth, many of whom have been traumatized in the past.

“In April and May, when we had the tornadoes, I was living here,” Sidney said. “That was pretty intense because we don’t really have a storm shelter. We have the student center, but if it was a big storm, we probably wouldn’t be safe. I don’t like tornadoes, so it was terrifying for me.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local news
  • Fracking Operation Norman library to host community dialogue about fracking

    Are Oklahoma oil companies an oligarchy that is controlling state policy? Is fracking safe? These and other topics will be the subject of an upcoming Fracking Forum from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 11 in the Norman Public Library’s Lowry Room, 225 ...

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ride CART fare free on Ozone Alert Day

    Environmental officials have declared today as an Ozone Alert Day. Passengers ride fare free on Cleveland Area Rapid Transit on Ozone Alert Days....

    July 24, 2014

  • Medical examiner says inmate died of an accidental drug overdose

    The Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office on Wednesday said a woman found dead in the Cleveland County jail Feb. 23 died of a drug overdose....

    July 24, 2014

  • Information scarce on ‘dark money’ group in Oklahoma superintendent campaign

    An independent expenditure group that paid for television advertisements opposing State Superintendent Janet Barresi in last month’s primary has not filed required spending reports with the Oklahoma Ethics Commission....

    July 24, 2014

  • Man injured in motorcycle wreck ID’d

    Norman police identified a man transported to Norman Regional Hospital’s emergency room after a two-vehicle collision involving a motorcycle and a car Wednesday....

    July 24, 2014

  • Wine, Organ and Compline at St. Thomas More

    St. Thomas More University Parish, 100 Stinson St., is hosting the Wine, Organ and Compline at 7 p.m. today. The series will begin with a wine and cheese gathering in the atrium, followed by an organ recital presented by guest organist ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Felonies filed

    The following persons were charged with felony counts in the Cleveland County Court Clerk’s Office: · Kenneth Leo Turk, 64, aggravated count of driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol · Kelly Revonn Turner, 21, ...

    July 24, 2014

  • First Junior Police Academy class graduates

    The Norman Police Department will host a graduation ceremony for its first Norman Junior Police Academy class today....

    July 24, 2014

  • More than 700 to receive clothing, school supplies

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Citizens Caring for Children will host a two-day Back-to-School shopping event for school-aged children in foster care living in Oklahoma, Canadian, Cleveland, Grady, Lincoln, Logan and Pottawatomie counties....

    July 24, 2014

  • Police log

    Police responded to the following incidents Tuesday: · 2:36 a.m. assault report, 700 block of Stinson Street · 7:32 a.m. larceny report, 5400 block of Huettner Drive · 8:30 a.m. larceny report, 800 block of North ...

    July 24, 2014