CEDAR HILL, Texas — Once a thrift store at 800 W. Belt Line Rd. in Cedar Hill, Bridges Thrifty Boutique is now transformed into Bridges Resource Center. The grand opening and ribbon cutting was on Tuesday.
Inside the blue building, counseling and mentoring services and parent trainings are available for families. Free clothing and food are displayed on shelves. And the most notable room is the diaper pantry, where the staff packs diapers, wipes, snacks and information pamphlets for more than 100 families in the Cedar Hill and Southwest Dallas area.
"One in three households struggle to provide clean and dry diapers for their family," said Nicole Hernandez, the executive director at the Bridges Resource Center.
She said diapers cost approximately $125 per month.
"If we can help offset that cost so they can spend that $125 toward their rent, gas or whatever else they need, that's why we're here," she said.
The reason the thrift store became this family resource center is because of the change in need since the COVID-19 pandemic started. Hernandez said the old thrift store was initially started to raise money for Bridges Safehouse, a program to help mothers and children experiencing homelessness.
But during the pandemic, the staff saw that more parents were becoming unemployed and some families were on the brink of becoming homeless.
"The whole mission of the diaper pantry started to help prevent homelessness," Hernandez said.
She said they went from providing diapers for around 20 families pre-pandemic to more than 100 families during the pandemic. The team at Bridges knew the thrift store needed to become a resource center in order to help more children. Now every week, parents can pick up diapers and wipes, and also pick out some items from the free store.
Bridges Resource Center is accepting diaper, clothing, food and monetary donations. If you or someone you know needs resources, the staff is ready to help families in need. For more information, click here.