New community space offers safe haven for Albany’s underserved population

Community advocate’s push for change

Community advocate's push for change.

Bridge the Gap Resource and Outreach opened it’s doors for the first time this year on Martin Luther King Day. It’s founder, Eva Bass has been advocating for communities and individuals to get the equity that they need for more than a decade. “We have a large housing crisis, a large food disparity, and so many other things centered around social terms of health that need to be addressed, she said.

The space was immediately put into use when police found a 14-year-old male with a gunshot wound at a home last Friday on New Hope Terrace in Albany. “We opened our space for family, community members, we had some clergy, we had some grief counselors from Urban Grief, and we had just some community members here to just pray, hold space talk, and connect the resources, just to let the community know there is community based support available,” she said.

Bridge the Gap was created to combat deeply embedded societal issues, with a focus on violence prevention, but Eva said they need more help from city leaders , saying most of the funding comes from her own pockets and community donations. “It’s not enough funding to really sustain and really build capacity and support our community as needed,” she said.

During hours of operation Bridge the Gap offers mentorships to youth between the ages of 5 to 18. The kids play games, learn about character building, and families are being connecting to vital community resources.