The Bridge Fund of New York City

A Program of The Bridge Fund of New York Inc.

Who we are.

Maria Toledo

Director, The Bridge Fund of
New York City

Westchester Staff
Left to Right: Melodi Simmons, Jacqueline Nieves, Wendy Ramirez, Rosalie Girau, Maria Toledo, Marta Kaminski and Emma Melendez

Director’s Annual Message

New York City spends more than $1 billion a year to combat homelessness. Yet close to 62,000 men, women and children now reside in city shelters, and many see no way out. Rising rents and stagnant wages, coupled with unforeseen emergencies, account for why so many need our help to pay rental arrears that threaten eviction. Each month, approximately 750 households ask for help and receive one or more services—information and referral, budget counseling, benefits assessment and advocacy, and compassionate listening. Those whose housing can be stabilized also receive modest interest-free loans and grants to pay their arrears.

Providing these comprehensive services is possible thanks to the expertise of our staff and the generosity of our funders. Equally important are the collaborative relationships with our referral partners: Housing Court Answers, Coalition for the Homeless, Catholic Charities, The Legal Aid Society,POTS, DC37, The Jewish Board, the city’s Human Resources Administration, and others. In 2016, The Bridge Fund of New York City leveraged $828,000 from partner agencies for our clients’ rental arrears. Leveraging enables The Bridge Fund to use our funding to help more clients. With just $1,600 in Bridge Fund assistance per household, we can resolve a Housing Court case, and consistently, 90% of these clients will hold on to their housing for one year or longer.

The program also works with our referral partners to cross train staff, promote best practices in the eviction prevention field and influence some of the broader policy discussions taking place in New York City, regarding homelessness and the need to preserve affordable housing. The Bridge Fund co-conducts trainings with members of the Emergency Rent Coalition: The Legal Aid Society and Housing Court Answers. These trainings cover such topics as proper case assessment, public assistance, Nonpayment Proceedings in Housing Court and effective advocacy.

Preventing homelessness offers the best hope of keeping families intact and enabling the working poor to maintain or even enhance the modest economic achievements they have attained. We at The Bridge Fund are proud of the role we have played in helping many do just that.

Maria Toledo, Director
The Bridge Fund of New York City

2016 New York City Program Activity Chart