When his wife Bette passed away recently, George Hammond’s and his daughter Lucy’s lives seemed shattered. While George receives monthly disability benefits and Lucy is entitled to Social Security Survivors Benefits, processing her claim took a long time. Without Bette’s added income, the family could no longer afford the $780 for the rent-stabilized apartment George and his wife had lived in for 41 years. During a period when one should be grieving in peace, George and his daughter found themselves facing eviction proceedings in Housing Court.
When George was finally referred to The Bridge Fund by BronxWorks, he owed his landlord $2,280 and was significantly stressed. With a Bridge Fund grant of $1,500 plus $845 from Mr. Hammond’s monthly disability check, the Housing Court case was quickly settled. The Bridge Fund caseworker also assessed Mr. Hammond for food stamps—and when he applied, discovered he was eligible for $297 a month. With this amount added to the Social Security benefits, the combined monthly household income is now $2,011, and the Hammond family can afford their rent. While continuing to monitor George and Lucy’s situation, The Bridge Fund also determined that George should apply for SCRIE, a rent-freeze option for seniors which is yet another safeguard to ensure George and his daughter remain secure in their home.