The Salvation Army in Australia has a long history of recovery work with people affected by alcohol, drugs and gambling. In the early 1900s a rehabilitation farm was set up at Collaroy on Sydney’s northern beaches.
The Bridge Program itself began in the 1960’s in Sydney, New South Wales. It first operated out of a house in Redfern which was purchased by The Salvation Army in 1966. A farm at Chittaway Point was used as a rural option for the program. Later, a country club at Morisset in the Hunter was purchased and opened as The Salvation Army’s Miracle Haven Recovery Centre. The Chittaway Point property became a recovery service for women before a purpose built facility for women was built at Berkeley Vale on the Central Coast.
Due to increasing demand for services The Salvation Army opened William Booth House in Surry Hills in 1974. William Booth House offered medical detoxification and became the central intake and after-care centre of the Bridge Program.
By the late 1970’s William Booth House had three additional services; Bramwell Booth House, Herbert Booth House and Catherine Booth House for women.
During the 1970’s the program expanded to Brisbane and Townsville in Queensland, Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory, St Peters and Newcastle in New South Wales.
In 1991 Fairhaven, located on the Queensland Gold Coast was opened. In 2004 Hadleigh Lodge located at Leura in New South Wales was opened.
A range of complementary out-client services and day therapeutic community programs have been developed and implemented to meet specific needs in local communities. These include:
• Programs for families at Newcastle, Bonnells Bay and Wollongong in New South Wales and Braddon in the Australian Capital Territory.
• Family support services in Brisbane, Gold Coast and Townsville in Queensland.
• Day therapeutic community programs at Penrith, Newcastle and Nowra in New South Wales.
• Day therapeutic community programs in Brisbane (problem gamblers) and Townsville in Queensland.
A large range of day therapeutic community, intervention and family support services are also offered throughout urban, regional and remote areas in Australia Capital Territory , New South Wales and Queensland.