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Bridges of Iowa, Inc.


Des Moines IowaBridges of Iowa, Inc. Review

Bridges of Iowa, Inc. is a long-term residential treatment program and transitional housing facility for men operated out of the West Wing of the Polk County Jail in Des Moines, Iowa since 1999. This program is for clients who voluntarily enter treatment and for those court-ordered to do so. The program offers individual and group therapy with an emphasis on cultivating personal spirituality.

Accommodations and Food

Though housed in the west wing of the county jail, Bridges of Iowa’s program is not in any way affiliated with the jail system itself. The program houses up to 40 men at a time in simple single rooms, each with double beds and cabinets for personal items. The rooms themselves are small, but the facility is spacious and includes a large kitchen, dining room, living room, offices and a fitness center fully equipped with weights and machines. There is a TV available for clients to use during down time and the staff also plans frequent recreational outings—including trips to softball games, basketball games or the local park.

The transitional living facility is for clients in their final phase of treatment. This home offers apartment-style living; each unit accommodates four men in two bedrooms with attached bathrooms, a kitchen, and a living room.

Clients are provided three meals a day while living in the residential facility. All meals are on the healthy side with fresh fruit and vegetables and snacks are made available throughout the day. Once clients move into the transitional phase, they are responsible for their own food.

Treatment and Staff

Treatment at BOI has three phases and lasts about a year. The first phase is eight weeks in duration and begins with a five to six-day medical detox followed by a move into the seven-week residential program. During treatment, residents participate in three or four daily group sessions which discuss relapse prevention, coping skills and parenting. There are also financial planning classes and job skills education which includes resume building and interviewing skills. Clients also receive individual therapy once a week with a counselor.

The treatment modalities at the facility include CBT, DBT and Motivational Interviewing (MI). Though treatment is not based on the 12 steps, the staff do emphasize the importance of reliance on a Higher Power and off-site meetings are recommended.

Phase two involves clients finding a job and working full time while still living at the facility. During this time clients leave during the day and return at night, though there is still an expectation for each individual to attend three on- and two off-site recovery meetings. Meetings can be AA/NA, church services or Celebrate Recovery meetings. This phase of treatment typically lasts five months. 

After the second phase, clients step-down to phase three and transfer to the sober living facility, a safe and secure home fully staffed with security personnel for the remainder of their time in the program. During this phase clients continue to work full time while attending regular group meetings. They are required to check in frequently with the program staff and submit to urinalysis tests several times a week.

Staff credentials include CADCs, LCSWs and caseworkers. All programs have been designed by psychiatrists with many years working in the field of addiction.


BOI’s family program is known as S.A.F.E (Spiritual Awareness and Family Education) and participation is mandatory for family members of all clients. In order to qualify for visitation privileges, family must first attend a minimum of three classes though the S.A.F.E program.

A graduation ceremony takes place every three months for clients who have fully completed the program. The celebration includes not only the family and friends but current clientele. This serves as an extra support system for the graduates and as an incentive to those who are still going through the program. The entire community participates in the festivities which includes a meal.

In Summary

The comprehensive treatment offered by Bridges of Iowa is designed to arm clients with valuable tools that lead to the continued success of each graduate. Using evidence-based practices and encouraging clients to cultivate their spiritual lives, men stand a good chance of returning to their communities as self-sufficient citizens who live productive lives in sobriety.

Bridges of Iowa Men’s Treatment Program (West Wing) Location

1985 NE 51st Street
Des Moines, IA 50313 

Bridges of Iowa, Inc. Cost

$1,500 (with insurance, one year); $34,000 (out of pocket, one year). Reach Bridges of Iowa, Inc. by phone at (515) 287-8255. Find Bridges of Iowa, Inc. on Facebook

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