Community Based Services

Work Therapy Groups

The Work Therapy program gets young people involved in more than 25 labor or therapeutic activity groups each week. Our Work Therapy Groups offer our youth structure and discipline, the opportunity to learn new skills, and a chance to give back to their community. Together the kids spend thousands of hours each year working in the Dayton community as part of our Work Therapy Program.

Community-Based Services (CBS) is a non-traditional probation unit that provides intensive rehabilitation programming and case management services for at-risk youth between the ages of 12 and 18. 

CBS takes an “out of the box” approach with the youth and their families. They provide more intensive supervision because of smaller caseloads. All youth involved in CBS are part of the Building Bridges program. CBS Work Therapy Groups are the foundation of the Building Bridges program.

CBS Work Therapy staff focuses on teaching the kids to work as a team. Their main objective while working with the kids is to help them develop skills such as planning, decision making, prioritizing, and conflict resolution. The youth learn proper work etiquette, become skilled at taking directives, and learn how to receive constructive criticism. Over time, the kids begin to develop patience, a sense of purpose, responsibility, and with hard work and a little sweat, a newfound respect for manual labor.

Through Work Therapy the staff have an opportunity to get to know each youth better, gaining a clearer picture of his or her interests, likes, dislikes, fears, views on life, and their situation at home. Once staff members gain a better overall understanding of the youth, they are better able to place them in additional programming that will help them improve their ability to succeed, build self-esteem, and make better choices. Work Therapy staff is able to spend valuable one-on-one time with each of the kids giving them much needed structure in a supportive environment that many of our youth have not experienced before. For the majority of our kids, encouragement and support of their efforts are lacking in the home environment.

Youth who have participated in Work Therapy Groups have, on a consistent basis, shown drastic improvements in relationships at home, school, and in the community. These youth also tend to have a lower recidivism rate, minimal gang association, and are typically drug free. Approximately 80% of the youth involved in Work Therapy return to society as productive members.


Our Work Therapy Groups:

“Giving Back” Work Therapy Groups

Access Center: Assists the Access Center in delivering medical supplies to needy families, as well as picking up donations from families to deliver to the Access Center.

Beautification: Picks up trash in various areas of the community, i.e. schools, parks, roads and streets, etc., that have fallen into neglect.

BOGG Ministries:  Helps the ministry with its mobile pantry making deliveries to those who are homebound.

Cleaning: Works in cleaning up the Princeton Northwest Recreation Center and the Dakota Center.  The youth help out, for example, by picking up trash around the buildings, wiping down equipment, organizing storage rooms and sports equipment, vacuuming, sweeping, and mopping floors.

Foodbank/Food to Go: Helps sort boxes, canned goods, and also sorts through the produce, separating fruit from vegetables and separating good from bad. During the school year the group packs backpacks with food for schools and agencies to issue to hungry children to take home over the weekend.

Lawn Mowing and Snow Removal: Provides lawn mowing, free of charge, for the elderly, and people with physical and/or developmental disabilities. The groups are usually conducted in the Spring, Summer, and Fall, depending on the demand for this service.

St. Vincent DePaul: Works at serving the residents of the two St. Vincent DePaul facilities in Dayton, such as by helping in the soup kitchen and laundry.

Educational Groups:

Bike GroupStaff teaches youth the fundamentals of bicycles and how to build or repair them. All the participants are required to build a bicycle, and they get to keep it as a reward for their efforts.

Forward Thinking: Forward Thinking is a cognitive behavioral service that uses evidence-based strategies to assist youth involved in the criminal justice system in making positive changes to their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

Library: The youth go to the library with mentors for their personal development and engage in educational activities hosted by the library.

Sunlight Village: This group provides mentoring, leadership, support, and training programs and services to youth and young adults and provides mental health services.

Other Activities: Building Bridges also provides a variety of educational events such as classes on financial literacy, entrepreneurship, carpentry, plumbing, landscaping, cooking, and yoga and field trips to museums and artistic performances.