A referral to The Bridge Fund sets things right.
Meet the Diaz family: mom Paola, dad Emiliano and their four children. The kids—two daughters, Patricia 15 and Pamela 8, and two sons, Pedro 11 and Pablo 4—are spread out from elementary school to high school, with each age having its own unique needs and expenses. The family lives in affordable housing with a Section 8 voucher, and are in the process of renewing their voucher. It is expensive to raise a family in Westchester County.
Emiliano drives a taxi. “It’s good and bad,” his wife Paola explains. “The long hours, and the addition of competing car services in the area can make it difficult.” Paola works full-time at a day care center. In addition to raising her family and working, Paola is also studying Early Childhood Education, with the goal of becoming a teacher.
The year 2018 was rough for this close-knit family. An unexpectedly high Con Ed bill and the cost of things the children needed for the upcoming summer set the financial downward spiral in motion. The family’s application for assistance with The Department of Social Services (DSS) was denied because they did not meet the guidelines of the rent being past due by at least one month. However, DSS referred the family to The Bridge Fund of Westchester, where they were helped with a grant and a loan for a total of $887 to resolve their rental arrears.
This summer, the younger children are going to day camp. The oldest daughter would like to find work, but working papers aren’t available until age 16, so she’s hoping to secure some local babysitting jobs. Paola reports that things are looking much more stable for her hard-working family and says that they are thankful to have been guided to The Bridge Fund.