About Us

Heart River Bridges of Hope is an outreach and re-entry ministry on behalf of the ELCA and the whole Church. As an expression of God’s grace and love, this ministry will provide youth opportunities for community worship, mentorship, wellness, and mutually enriching relationships. Trusting and believing that God heals and creates new life, our intent is to accompany and empower youth toward a future with hope.

Heart River Bridges of Hope Program

  • serves the state of North Dakota
  • works to build ecumenical, faith-based relationships with youth released from the Youth Correctional Center and congregations across the state
  • provides a Mentor for each youth who voluntarily wants to be a part of the program


  • reduce recidivism
  • foster faith formation and spiritual development
  • empower youth
  • empower the greater Church for mission and advocacy

For more information, please contact:

Deacon Alexandra Benson

How You Can Help


Your monetary donations can help youth with educational scholarships so they can get a good education.

Game Night

Volunteer at YCC for Thursday evening game nights and other activities. Background checks required before volunteering.

Be A Mentor

Mentor a young person by serving with a team of adults committed to helping a young person make healthy choices.


Each youth leaving YCC gets a quilt, lovingly hand-made by quilting groups all over the state. Ask how you can help.

Pizza Night

Each Wednesday night at our Bismarck office (201 N 24th Street) we gather for pizza from 5pm-6pm. Stop by to say hi, have some pizza and use the food pantry.

Fresh Start Bags

Re-entry can be overwhelming. Your donation of these NEW items helps a young person in transition get a “fresh start” in life!

Financial Gifts

Your tax-deductible monetary support helps to sustain the ministry of Heart River Bridges of Hope.


If you are interested in understanding how to better connect with young people, volunteering at NDYCC, or being in a mentor relationship with a young person who has been in juvenile corrections, Heart River Bridges of Hope offers helpful training. Our program relies on caring people like you to help guide young people into Christian community and healthy choices for successful living. Thank you for the time you spend volunteering!

NDYCC requires an application and background check for volunteers. Click below for the application and instructions.

Support Groups

Parents' Support Group

Our parents' support group meets the first Thursday of every month at 7:30 pm. The support group is led by couselor, Kim Helbling, LPC. This is intended to be a safe place for caregivers of kids in the justice system to find support and confidentiality, and to have open and respectful conversation in a place with hope and prayer. Resources available to you in the community this night also include: a food pantry at this same location, as well as a free meal at “The Banquet” at Trinity Lutheran Church, 502 N 4th St.

Mentor Support Group

Our Mentor Support Group meets the first Tuesday of every month at 7:00 pm. We hope to offer a place for mentors to have opportunities to learn more, connect and pray with one another, and gain a better understanding of what it means to mentor in the Heart River Bridges of Hope program.

Support groups meet at the location shared by Ministry on the Margins and Heart River Bridges of Hope, 201 N 24th St. in Bismarck.