Message from the Executive Director
First, let’s review The Bridge Fund’s operating results for 2017. Thanks to Barbara Hayes and our excellent staff, last year was most productive. Our program stabilized 1,029 threatened client households or 2,289 people, with about 70% of them living in New York City. We used $1.193 million of our funds for interest-free loans and grants, primarily to settle rental arrears. Clients from both programs contributed $743,000 toward eliminating their arrears. In addition, our caseworkers leveraged $1.216 million in networked funds from other agencies as contributions to our packages. The total cost per Bridge Fund preventive case averages out at about $4,000—an incredible comparison to the cost of sheltering the homeless.
The total number of people helped by The Bridge Fund last year included 821 children, up from 707 children in 2016. Preventing homelessness for children—and keeping them out of the shelter systems—is a top priority for The Bridge Fund. Working in the youth shelter system as both a caseworker and administrator for many years, I witnessed firsthand the trauma a child can suffer from becoming homeless. Now I am privileged to work for an organization that keeps children housed with their families. I will commit my leadership to ensuring we serve even more families in this capacity.
2018 has been a year of change at The Bridge Fund and with change comes opportunity. But first, I can say both programs continue to function effectively. The Bridge Fund is poised to have a strong second half of 2018. We have hired key personnel that should put The Bridge Fund in a position to grow. We feel we can expand the number of Bridge Fund clients and test new ways of helping our clients to succeed.
Finally, thank you for your past contributions for our work of preventing homelessness. We will do our very best to earn your continuing support for The Bridge Fund.
The Bridge Fund of New York Inc.